The BBL has drafted a letter of support for the plan and the group hopes to get 100 businesses to sign on to it before the plan comes before Portland City Council on January 20th. The BTA, which helped facilitate the formation of the BBL since its first meeting back in May, says the public and business leaders are aligned in their support of biking and walking.
“We, the undersigned Portland businesses… care about the reliable delivery of goods and services, affordable mobility for products and people, and healthy and productive employees.”
— Excerpt from a letter being circulated by the Bicycle Business League
The BTA cites surveys taken at both neighborhood and business workshops for the Portland Plan that show broad support for improved access to businesses through “walkability.”
Here is a snip from the letter of support being distributed to local businesses:
“We, the undersigned Portland businesses, are writing you to support the adoption and implementation of the Portland Bicycle Master Plan for 2030.
We care about the reliable delivery of goods and services, affordable mobility for products and people, and healthy and productive employees.
…shifting our spending to areas in which we get great returns of investment – like moving people cheaply by bicycle – is a smart strategy in tough economic times…”
A strong show of support for biking and walking from Portland’s business community could play a key role in pushing City Council and the Bureau of Transportation to work harder to promote non-motorized transportation. The business community in Portland has not historically been in favor of biking, a problem the BTA’s Michelle Poyourow is well aware of. We got in touch with Poyourow today and asked about this new initiative.
“I think that there’s an old and outdated assumption that bicycling is something you do despite its impact on businesses and the economy. That is absolutely just not the case… There are a lot of businesses in Portland for whom bicycling is good for their bottom line and they’re looking for an opportunity to speak up in support of making Portland a much easier and safer place to bike and walk.”
So far, over 20 businesses have signed on to the letter. Stay tuned for updates on this campaign.