Railvolution panel asks, “Is BOD the New TOD?”

Williams Avenue-3
Lots of development has followed
a boring, cheap and narrow bike lane
on Williams Ave in North Portland.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Railvolution conference kicked off this morning in Portland. About 1,000 transportation professionals, politicians, and other bigwigs are expected to take part in a dizzying array of workshops, networking sessions, and panel discussions. The event is designed to tease out the latest and greatest thinking on the who, what, why and how of transit planning

As the name suggests, Railvolution is all about like streetcars, light rail and commuter rail. But this year, bikes have sneaked onto the agenda with a session titled, Biketopia: Is BOD the New TOD. (For the uninitiated, BOD stands for Bike Oriented Development and TOD stands for Transit Oriented Development). Here’s the summary of the panel:

What role does bicycle-oriented development (BOD) play in TOD? With increasing investment in bike boulevards, cycle tracks and urban trails and paths, there is growing interest in orienting development near fixed bikeway corridors. This workshop takes a look at the surprising benefits of bicycle infrastructure in terms of neighborhood revitalization, urban form and the public realm. With bike culture comes innovation and experimentation: mandatory off-street bicycle storage within new developments, on-street parking spaces replaced by bike corrals, bike-and-ride amenities at transit stations, support for diverse small businesses, unique fashions and creative social events such as Sunday Parkways. Should the definition of TOD be broadened to include bikes? How do the bicycle lessons-learned apply to transit and station area planning?

As someone who has documented one of the great, ongoing examples of BOD in America, I’m excited to be on this panel. I’ll be joined by Alta Planning CEO Mia Birk (moderator), the President and CEO of Bikestation, Andrea White-Kjoss, and local real estate guy Jon Kellogg of Commercial Realty Advisors NW/Adaptive Development.

If you’re registered for the conference, I hope you’ll add this one to your schedule. It’s on Wednesday (10/20) at 10:00 a.m. If you can’t make it, I’ll try and share a recap on Page Two. Learn more at

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