Wonk up! Four notable speakers coming to town

JSK at Women's Bicycling Forum
NYC transportation hero Janette Sadik-Khan
visits town next month.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

More than any time since I’ve been here, it seems as if Portland is opening its arms and ears to good ideas from elsewhere.

In the coming days and weeks we’ll be welcoming a bunch of nationally known experts on transportation for some timely talks. Delightfully, all of them are free.

With some, we’ll be doing more extensive previews based on advance interviews. With others, we’ll attend and report what they say.


But for now, here’s the roundup:

Friday, Feb. 12, 11 a.m.: Jason Roberts, the Texas planner who created the original Better Block organization that inspired Better Block PDX. Lovejoy Room at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave.

Saturday, Feb. 13, noon: David Bragdon, the former Portland politician who sorta seems like he’s been taking time off his current job as director of the NYC-based Transit Center nonprofit to call loudly for major reform at the Oregon Department of Transportation. Room 238 of the Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway. More info here.

Wednesday, Feb. 17, noon: Denny Zane, the Los Angeles political organizer who successfully led the effort to pass Measure R, a regional half-cent sales tax ballot measure that went mostly to public transportation. Council Chamber at Metro Regional Center, 600 NE Grand Ave. More info here.

Thursday, March 24, 7:30 p.m.: Janette Sadik-Khan, the transformational New York City transportation commissioner and spiritual leader of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, now working with her old boss Michael Bloomberg to support street reforms of cities in the developing world. She’ll be discussing her new book Streetfight: Handbook for a New Urban Revolution with Congressman Earl Blumenauer. Pearl Room, Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside.

JSK (as she’s affectionately known in the bike-wonk world) will also speak in a free Metro-organized event at the Mission Theater at 6:30 p.m. on March 23. We’re setting up an advance Q&A and will keep you posted.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

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