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Willamette Pedestrian Coalition changes name to Oregon Walks

Posted by on November 12th, 2012 at 11:27 am

Steph at Oregon Walks benefit-2-2

Leader of Oregon Walks, Steph Routh, is
stepping boldly into the future.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

As I hinted back on Friday, Portland’s walking advocates unveiled a new name and logo over the weekend. The group that was formed 21 years ago as the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition is now known as Oregon Walks.

The tagline, which was emblazoned on new t-shirts handed out at their Weston Awards fundraiser event Saturday night, is “Protecting your right to roam.”

See the new logo below the jump…

Oregon Walks sticker

This is an exciting new change for an organization that has serious wind at its back since hiring its first full-time, paid leader (Steph Routh) in 2009. What impact will this momentum with Oregon Walks have on bicycling in Portland (and beyond)? What projects and policies will see a strong partnership form between Oregon Walks and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance? Time will tell; but a renewed focus and a fresh start for Routh and her organization bodes well for Portland’s low-car future.

Oregon Walks debuted this new video to help usher in their new name and new era…

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  • Mark McClure November 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Impact: Generally, I foresee a continued positive (win-win) impact for the two complementary modes of travel. However, both modes will likely remain in “competition” for limited active transportation public funding, at all levels, for infrastructure improvements. In the case of pedestrian/walking improvements, for example, these could include funding for new sidewalks and ramps, crosswalk signals, bus shelters, etc.

    Oregon Walks + BTA: I see a natural partnership. See the Alliance for Biking & Walking ( Perhaps this will be a focus at the upcoming 2013 Active Transportation Summit in Salem (

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  • steph routh November 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Huge thanks to all who joined us (and those wanted to join us) on Saturday to celebrate this year’s Weston Winners and to celebrate the new name. It’s an aspirational name we are looking forward to growing into. If Saturday’s awesome crowd is anything to go by, this movement is happening and how! Special thanks to Matt Giraud and to the Oregon Walks Board for their leadership and talent.

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  • GlowBoy November 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I like the new name. I had feared they might choose something that didn’t clearly indicate their mission (see: Northwest Trail Alliance), but “Oregon Walks” is perfect. Short, concise, precise. Nice.

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  • Rol November 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Much better name.

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  • Jim Labbe November 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Very exciting. Excellent name. Stellar video introduction.

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  • Sunny November 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Hey guys, come join me at

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  • Roger November 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    RE competition for public funding: In Oregon, to be competitive and successful in obtaining active transportation grant funding, most projects need to include improvements for both cycling and walking (and access to transit in urban areas). A grant application focused on a single mode won’t likely succeed.

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    • Mark McClure November 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks, Roger. This seems consistent with the “toolbox” approach ODOT’s new Active Transportation Section is creating.

      “Another long-term goal of the section is to create a more efficient process for local governments to apply and receive funding for projects related to biking, walking and transit. The section plans to develop a “toolbox” approach that will fund these approved solutions in order to maximize the use of diverse funding sources. Ultimately, ODOT will have a more effective and coordinated management of federal funding sources, as well as a more strategic and streamlined approach to delivering these types of local projects.”

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  • matt picio November 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    11 syllables down to 4 – much less of a mouthful. Which is one of the best things about Ms. Routh – she can boil anything down to the essentials and make it bold, accessible, and effective. Kudos to the WPC Board for recognizing her potential and hiring her to lead the organization and transition it into Oregon Walks. I look forward to seeing what happens next!

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    • matt picio November 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      I might also add that the board has a lot of stellar individuals on it as well, both current and former – Margaret Weddell, Roger Averbeck, Steve Bozzone, and many other talented folks. (please pardon me not mentioning all of you by name)

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  • Andyc of Linnton November 13, 2012 at 7:53 am

    This is great. Looking forward to the future. Love the new name. The video is excellent as well.

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  • Jonathan Gordon November 13, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I *love* that tagline.

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  • Erinne November 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Congrats on a wonderful event and a fabulous new name. Yay Oregon Walks!

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  • Ted Buehler November 14, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Good choice in names. Smooth, covers all of the walking experience, not just along streets.

    It will be interesting to see if the new name indicates a move to advocate for walkers in all of Oregon, not just the Willamette Valley.

    Keep up the good work, Steph, Board, volunteers, supporters!

    Ted Buehler

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  • sarah angell November 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Congrats to you Ms.Routh and your fleet on the change! Pitch perfect.

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