Leaders of the all-volunteer transportation activist group Bike Loud PDX were at this week’s Oregon Active Transportation Summit with a message you don’t usually hear at those type of events: Portland ain’t all that.
Bike Loud PDX passed out a two-page flyer to summit attendees encouraging them to not only learn about Portland’s success but also “talk about the not-so-cool infrastructure we have too.”
Here’s the text from the flyer:
Welcome to Portland! A “platinum-level bicycle city”
We hope you’re enjoying the Oregon Active Transportation Summit so far. This is event is a great opportunity to hear about all the cool innovations in infrastructure and safety we have here in Portland.
But maybe we should talk about the not-so-cool infrastructure we have too. Cycling conditions in Portland far surpass those of most American cities. Unfortunately, America is a country that fell head-over-heels for the siren song of the motor vehicle almost a century ago, which means that even in Portland, “America’s Bike Capital,” our bicycle infrastructure pales on the international scale.
Portland is an amazing city of amazing people, and we know we have the potential to become an actual revolutionary force in cycling. But for those of us whose primary means of transportation is the bicycle, we who are out there experiencing our “platinum-level” infrastructure every day, it’s hard not to feel more copper than platinum. So what’s stopping us from reaching our cycling potential?
We’ve rested on our laurels long enough; it’s time for Portland to get out there and actually live up to its reputation as America’s cycling capital! BikeLoudPDX is calling upon the City of Portland to live up to the Portland Plan, Climate Action Plan, and 2030 Bike Plan by providing PBOT with the funding and political support necessary to expand and maintain our bicycle and other active transportation infrastructure.
We’re also calling on PBOT and ODOT to put all our world-famous wonky ideas and best practices to work, designing and building the ultimate active transportation system.
We know you can do it! We’re counting on you!
And here’s the flyer:
Three BikeLoudPDX co-chairs were at the event: Emily Guise, Ted Buehler, and Jessica Engelman. Guise told us via email that they created the flyer, “Because we wanted to remind the professionals at the summit that while Portland is a pretty good place to ride a bike for the U.S. (which is a low bar!), there are still lots of places our policies and infrastructure need improvement. We’re doing okay, but if we ever want to hit that 25% bike mode share, we need to do a lot better than okay. And also from a vision zero standpoint, “ok” is not acceptable.”
They hand-delivered the flyer to several senior employees of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Metro councilors and staff from the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Overall, Guise says the message was well-received and it provoked some productive discussions.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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