This is a subscriber post by Kiel Johnson of Go By Bike.
At 6 p.m. tonight, join me and your fellow bike enthusiasts for what could be, if we want it to be, the biggest bicycling demonstration in Portland’s history. Together we will stand against the complacency that has told us that more biking is inevitable if we only do nothing.
We all know how to get more people biking, but it will only happen when enough people in Portland stand and demand it as loudly and as often as they can.
Each bike lane that we add or take away tells a story about who we are and what kind of place we want to live in. Are we a city that fosters health, community, and environmental stewardship? Or are we a city that breathes the same polluted air and sits in the same traffic as most of the rest of the United States? Tonight, I choose to help make a city where biking is accessible and safe for all; where we prioritize people who move through our city in ways that make us appreciate one another; where we build bridges that connect communities instead of rivers of cars to separate us.
It takes a certain degree of courage to show up. It is always much easier to stand for things at the sideline. But unless we stand up, nothing will change.
Bureaucrats did not build Portland — activists did.
Let us not diminish the importance of standing up united in a common cause because it doesn’t happen often enough. Together, let us give each other the courage and inspiration to stand together. Today, the cars are winning. And they have taken over so much of our city that they will continue to win unless we stand up together and say there is a better way. Bikes and building quality spaces for them to be in can make our world a better place. It is too easy to divide people on the internet it is much harder when they are standing in front of you. Too often we use technology as a crutch for inaction when right now we so desperately need action on so many things.
So join us tonight. Gather at 5:30 at the Salmon Street Fountain and we will show that Portland believes in itself again. By standing together, we can make a difference. So much of our present world is determined by the decisions of our parents. Let us leave a slightly better world for our children. They took down a freeway on the waterfront: the very least we could leave is an awesome bike lane.
The point is not to write about or criticize the world. The point is to change it. This may just be a human protected bike lane that does not change anything, or it could be the largest demonstration for bicycling in our city’s history — the moment the needle moves. The future is up to you.
Use your voice and encourage as many other people as possible to join you, and I’ll see you tonight.
This post was submitted as a Subscriber Post, one of the benefits of being a paid supporter of BikePortland. Learn more here.