The City of Portland has announced a call for new members of the Bicycle Advisory Committee. The committee, which dates back to the early 1970s, is currently staffed by PBOT Bike Coordinator Roger Geller and its role is to advise the Mayor, PBOT, and all other city bureaus on anything and everything related to bicycling.
A typical BAC meeting might consist of getting the lowdown on an upcoming project that impacts our bikeway system (like a new light rail line or a large development), hearing an update on current and/or future bike projects, and discussing a big picture issue like how to manage traffic concerns on multi-use paths. I’ve attended countless BAC meetings over the last five years and I have the utmost respect for its work and its members. And, as far as meetings go, many of them are far from boring. In fact, BAC meetings are often held with overflow crowds of interested citizens and other bike-interested folks.
From identifying projects and setting funding priorities, to weighing in on important policy issues, the BAC is where much of the action around bicycling happens in this town. If you’re interested in becoming one of its voting members, and helping to make decisions that directly impact bicycling in Portland, you should consider applying for one of the open spots. There are up to 13 members of the committee as well as seven alternatives. Members serve a three-year term and the committee meets on the second Tuesday of each month. (Note: Membership is only necessary for votes (which don’t happen very often). This is committee is very inclusive and everyone in attendance is given a chance to speak and join the discussion.)
Applications are due by September 30. Learn more on the BAC website or by contacting Roger Geller at (503) 823-7671 or roger(dot)geller@portlandoregon(dot)gov. Browse past articles about the BAC via our Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee tag.
UPDATE, 3:19 pm: In response to a comment below (and my own curiousity), here is more information about the selection process from PBOT bike planner Denver Igarta:
“Due to attrition over the last few years, the BAC is currently made up of 13 full members and no alternates. The term of all (13) current BAC members is expiring, so 13 full members will be appointed as part of this recruitment as well as at least 7 alternates.
The only functional distinction between full members and alternates is the ability to place a vote. Any current member interested in continuing work on the BAC must reapply. It is unclear how many current members will reapply or be selected, so the total number of slots to be filled by new members this recruitment is unknown at this point.”
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I just sent in my application. Clear a path, People, I’m coming through.
it would be useful to know how many positions they are seeking to fill.
In response to your comment, I’ve just posted this updated information from PBOT staffer Denver Igarta:
re comment 2, the bylaws provide for three-year terms, with a call for new members every two years. they are about a year late in making this call, so literally every term should be expiring. the bylaws permit incumbents to re-apply. the bylaws provide for thirteen full members and up to five alternates. at present there are thirteen members. if all thirteen re-apply, one supposes that the incumbents will be reappointed, which basically means that they would be looking for five alternates. the opportunity for an actual seat at the table would be if an incumbent did not re-apply or was not reappointed. short answer, probably five, probably alternates.
RE comment #3: The BAC adopted revised bylaws at their July Meeting. According to that revised version, “Invitations to apply for membership will be offered to the community at intervals not to exceed three years.” Also, the revised bylaws, as Jonathan correctly reports, allow for up to seven alternates. Many of the current memgbers were alternates who got moved up when others left. And, at least as far as an outsider can tell, Mr. Igarta has it right: the only real difference between full members and alternates is the very rare vote that’s taken. Otherwise, conversations are kind of a free-for-all.
Henefer is right. I forgot to mention it in the article initially… but this committee is very inclusive of new voices and everyone is given a chance to speak and add to the discussion — member or not.
nevertheless, certain issues are important enough to require a vote.
In fact, in a lot of cases in which the BAC doesn’t normally vote it would actually be useful to have a vote, for the official record if nothing else.
well, duh. i was actually at that meeting. did not take notes or (apparently) come away with a copy of the bylaws changes, but it might be helpful if someone could confirm that seven members actually voted in favor. my recollection is that there were only about seven members present.