BTA now offers bike education courses at two local colleges

Fall scene in South Park Blocks-1

A student rides on the South Park
Blocks on the PSU campus.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has a new front in their effort to teach people about bicycling: They now offer college-level bike training courses in partnership with Portland State University (PSU) and Portland Community College (PCC).

The PSU class, Bike PDX: How to Commute by Bicycle, will be offered in two different sessions during PSU’s spring term which begins April 1st and runs through June 18th. Students can accrue one course credit for completion of the class.

Here’s the course description:

This course will help you become a confident and safe bicycle commuter. By learning the skills and legal requirements for operating a bicycle, participants will be able to create healthy transportation habits that will benefit the participant, the community, and the environment by reducing single-occupancy motorized vehicle traffic. Bring a bicycle or request one through the PSU Bike Hub rental program.

And at PCC, the class is called Urban Biking and Safety. It will be a non-credit course. Here’s the description:

Learn and practice safe and legal cycling with traffic in Portland through a combination of in-class and on-bike, on-street lessons. Includes basic bike mechanics and maintenance and effective communication with all road users.

The BTA is well-known for their Safe Routes to School education programs administered via federal/state grants; but their adult education programs have been limited to bike commuting workshops at various workplaces. “Partnering with PSU and PCC,” says the BTA’s Education Programs Manager LeeAnne Fergason, “allows us to offer a comprehensive safety education program directly to young adults who may be new to Portland and may be new to bicycling for transportation.”

At PSU, the BTA is set up as a “cooperative agency,” meaning they got to design the curriculum and then have it approved by PSU’s academic department. Typically, cooperative agencies receive a portion of the class fee ($55 in this case), but since this is the first time the course is being offered, and the BTA sees the course as, “an opportunity to expand and refine our adult education programs” (says BTA Communications Manager Will Vanlue), they are not charging a separate co-op fee. At PCC, the BTA will receive an hourly rate based on the in-classroom time of their instructors.

The PSU course is offered through the Graduate School of Education Continuing Education program which is geared toward professional development of teachers and other school administrators.

Fergason says the BTA is particularly excited to work with the education departments because the course will reach future teachers, “who one day will be in the classroom, partnering with our instructors for children’s education programs or teaching the program themselves.” “Teachers who understand the rules of the road and who are passionate about bicycling,” says Fergason, “help our existing Walk+Bike programs reach more children, more effectively.”

Learn more via the course listings at and

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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11 years ago

I’m glad to see Bob Huckaby underwriting this effort. Just goes to show how we underestimated his sincerity.

11 years ago
Reply to  9watts

I don’t see his name associate with this anywhere…

11 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

Neither do I.
I was being facetious.

Karl Malone
Karl Malone
11 years ago

PSU is clearly a leader locally and nationally for the use of bicycle transportation. They are getting more awesome all the time.

PCC is fraught with potential as can be seen in their 2012 TDM…

However in PCC’s endeavor to expand parking facilities at several campuses (which is funded by the recent bond measure), it’s become apparent that they’re just checking the box on demand management, and don’t appear to be aspiring to achieve clear goals for reducing single occupancy motor vehicle travel.

It’s a shame because their own analysis shows that 50% of campus visits come from the zip codes that surround the campuses, offering the opportunity of trips of under a few miles long.

While the Cascade Campus (on Killingsworth) shows the highest mode split of up to 10% (compared to 1% at all other campuses), given it’s location and the bicycling facilities near by you’d hope that the campus would easily achieve 15% or 25%.

My understanding from people who were in the room as part of the recent public engagement surrounding the new garage on Cascade Campus is that the goals for reduction of motor vehicle use were so low that they amounted to 2 less cars a year being parked in the neighborhood, each year for 15 years. Way to set the bar high enough that you won’t even trip.

It’s laudable that the BTA will be on the PCC campus and have direct conversations with students. I just hope that the institution itself is open to exploring how they can better manage their traffic and then leveraging goals and leadership to achieve excellence.

Andrew N
Andrew N
11 years ago

This is all fine and dandy… but I still have every intention of forever boycotting anything associated with the BTA thanks to their spineless rolling over in the face of the CRC juggernaut — in league with nearly all of our elected officials (with whom they are clearly a little too buddy-buddy). Accepting the sponsorship of CRC-pushing Fred Meyer for the Alice Awards was the final nail in the proverbial coffin.


11 years ago

What? Freddy supports the CRC?