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Bike Plan birthday rally celebrates past with eye toward future

The crowd.


The crowd at City Hall plaza today.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

“We already have an excellent bike network in our city. The problem is there are simply too many people driving on it.”
— Catie Gould, Bike Loud PDX

With a mix of urgency and reflection, advocates, city staff, and a few politicians showed up at the plaza outside City Hall today to mark the 10th birthday of Portland’s Bicycle Plan for 2030.

To root the event in history, former bike plan project manager (now retired) Ellen Vanderslice read the vision statement from the plan’s introduction:

“It is the year 2030, and Portland looks much different than it did a generation ago. By sharply reducing reliance on personal auto use, Portland significantly lowered its carbon footprint, eased traffic congestion, improved air quality and enhanced public health. One of the community’s most valuable assets – the public right-of-way – was reclaimed for all Portland residents… Bicycling is now a fundamental pillar of Portland’s fully integrated transportation system, with more than a quarter of all daily trips taken by bicycle on the city’s world renowned bikeway network.”

If only! And we only have 10 years to get there.

That’s why Bike Loud PDX volunteers and partners organized today’s event. With cupcakes and a “Happy Birthday to you” serenade, they want to celebrate the plan, but also speed up its implementation.

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A crowd of about 100 people heard remarks by Vanderslice, Community Cycling Center Executive Director Kasandra Griffin, and Bike Loud PDX Co-Chair Catie Gould. In addition to advocates and bike supporters, notable faces in the crowd included: PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly (who walked out from her office very briefly), PBOT Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller, former Portland Mayor and city council candidate Sam Adams, city council candidate Keith Wilson, and mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone.

Griffin said, “We appreciate the past, present and future electeds who value transportation justice, and we call on the mayor and city hall to put their money where their plans are.”

Gould reminded the crowd that the solution to Portland’s transportation problems are actually quite simple, but implementing it takes courage. “We already have an excellent bike network in our city,” she said, “the problem is there are simply too many people driving on it.”

Bike Loud wants the projects adopted in the bike lane to be implemented much quicker than they’ve been for the past 10 years. “Right now, city agencies are putting together budget proposals for next year. Right now campaigns are underway for the four out of five seats on city council are up for election this year. The 2030 Bike Plan will only be an issue if we make it one, and we will make sure that elected officials hear loud and clear that right now is the time to act!”

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If you’d like to get plugged-into Bike Loud’s efforts, check out their website at 2030report.bikeloudpdx.org.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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