City lunch panel this week recalls ‘Portland before Platinum’

Earl Blumenauer in Portland-5.jpg

Mia Birk of Alta Planning + Design
is one of four speakers.
(Photo: J.Maus/bikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s monthly bike-themed lunchtime speaking series has a particularly intriguing agenda this Thursday.

Four local women who’ve been riding the city for quite some time will be sharing stories about Portland’s biking history. The panel includes Anndy Wiselogle (founder, in 1976, of the Bicycle Repair Collective, among other things); Mia Birk, Portland’s first bicycle coordinator and an early principal at pioneering bike-infrastructure firm Alta Planning and Design; Jessica Roberts, an onetime Bicycle Transportation Alliance employee and more recent principal at Alta; and Barb Grover, a onetime Bike Gallery marketer who cofounded cargo-bike specialty shop Splendid Cycles.

Here’s the official description from the PBOT Bicycle Lunch and Learn page:

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Before Portland talked about being a world-class city for bicycles; before we were concerned about the “interested but concerned”; before there were Women Bike, Women on Wheels or CycloFemme, there were women working to make our city better for biking.

“Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” is the theme for National Women’s History Month 2015. The Bicycle Lunch and Learn is honored to have four women who pioneered in bike activism, industry, advocacy and policy tell their stories.

The event starts almost immediately at noon Thursday on the second-floor Lovejoy Room of Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave. We’re planning to be there. Maybe you’ll want to be too.

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dan
dan
7 years ago

Am I reading things wrong, or is Mia Burk a Cylvia Hayes-style flim flam artist?

Dan Kaufman
7 years ago
Reply to  dan

You are reading things wrong, Anonymous Dan.

Jessica Roberts
Jessica Roberts
7 years ago
Reply to  dan

I have worked for Mia for nearly 9 years and she is one of the people I respect most in our industry. I wouldn’t still be at Alta if that weren’t the case. She’s hard-working, passionate about active transportation, and has created an incredible company.

Oregon Mamacita
Oregon Mamacita
7 years ago

Has Alta ever repaid the 40,000.00 progress payment that was contingent
on securing a sponsor for Portland bike share?

If not- well, inaction speaks louder than words.

Oregon Mamacita
Oregon Mamacita
7 years ago

Thank you. Can we confirm? It is a litmus test for me about integrity.
I will feel better about Alta & PBOT if the repayment is confirmed.

Zimmerman
Zimmerman
7 years ago

The city is certainly working to have its platinum status recalled through its treatment of mountain biking.

Jessica Roberts
Jessica Roberts
7 years ago

It’s been fun to have an excuse to dredge the depths of my memory in preparation for this. Erik Tonkin and I talked for way too long about meeting in 1993…let me tell you, this city was a VERY different place back then. It’ll be interesting to hear stories and discuss how things have (and haven’t) changed.

jonnycactus
jonnycactus
7 years ago

Can we stop lionizing members of a company who were owners of a bike share company that cities refused to work with and that treated front-line workers like garbage before cashing out to a large private firm? Their past achievements may have made them pioneers, but they certainly didn’t use their influence for the benefit of cycling and transportation recently.

Adam H.
Adam H.
7 years ago

Interesting panel, given that Portland is far from a world-class city for riding a bicycle…

CaptainKarma
CaptainKarma
7 years ago

Lunch!? More like breakfast for me!

TrailLover
TrailLover
7 years ago

I think it’s time for a “Portland Post Platinum” Bicycle Lunch to consider what it’s going to be like for transportation funding and initiatives after Portland LOSES its Platinum status – as it should – due to the abysmal incompetence that has dominated the off-road cycling issue. From River View to Forest Park to the very suspect Off-Road Cycling Master Plan, it’s time for the Bike League to rank Portland correctly for its shameless, 20-year opposition to off-road cycling.