Two talks bring bike smarts from Montreal and Boston

Phil Goff and Jean-François Pronovost

If “the Portland high five” is patting yourself on the back, the surefire cure is to get a taste of the exciting things other cities are up to. Two experts on bike infrastructure are coming to share some of that wisdom with Portland for free, one next week and one next month.

Next month’s speaker is from arguably the best bike city in North America: Montreal. Jean-François Pronovost of Vélo Québec will share his lessons from Canada about “growing a world-class cycling culture” as part of the first in a major new series of transportation lectures sponsored by the Portland-based Institute for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation.

Pronovost, who works for the Montreal advocacy group as vice president for development and public affairs, was trained as a biologist but built a career around bikes, organizing a major 1992 bike conference and then leading the charge for what became La Route Verte, the continent’s longest bike route, with the help of an $88.5 million government investment.

The Pronovost lecture is at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug 26, in Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall at 1620 SW Park Ave. Space is limited to 240 people.

Next week’s speaker will have a different perspective: he’s a former Portlander who’s spent the last eight years improving biking in the Boston area — one of the eight major metro cities that’s recently overtaken ours in miles of bikeways per square mile.

Phil Goff of Portland-based Alta Planning + Design, one of the organizers of Portland’s legendary 2002 Summer of Bike Fun, a former Bicycle Advisory Committee member and a founding board member of the Livable Streets Alliance, will speak at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, at Velo Cult, 1969 NE 42nd Avenue. His talk, also free, is organized by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

You might recall Goff from his guest article about the Morrison Bridge saga we published back in 2010.

“After eight years of transportation planning work in Boston and Cambridge, Goff is returning to Portland to share his observations about two cities that, like Portland in 2002, are eager to become the country’s best for bicycling,” the BTA says.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misreported the time and date of the Pronovost lecture. It’s next month, Aug. 26, at 6:30 p.m.

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen was news editor of from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.

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10 years ago

Portland has about 133 square miles and a population of ~584k. Boston has 45 square miles and population of 640k (2010). It matters how you measure stuff, particularly if combining two or more variables.

Josh G
Josh G
10 years ago

ERROR: the Aug 26 talk at PSU is from 6:30-7:30