Applicants needed for Portland Freight Plan Advisory Committee

A truck drivers turns right at NE Couch and Grand, the site of many right-hooks.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“Applicants elevating our Community Advisory Committee’s demographic diversity in any way are strongly encouraged to apply.”

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is looking for people to serve on the 2040 Freight Plan Advisory Committee.

Large freight trucks have a major impact on biking in Portland. Trucks and their drivers are the source of many collisions that have killed and injured bike riders and trucking advocates and lobbyists have a substantial influence on transportation policies and projects.

As we reported back in May, the City of Portland is about to embark on its first update to the Freight Master Plan since 2006 and we have the opportunity to make sure it includes policies that do not negatively impact bicycle riders and other vulnerable road users.

PBOT recently extended the recruitment period for this opportunity because not enough Black, Indigenous and people of color have applied. “Applicants elevating our Community Advisory Committee’s demographic diversity in any way are strongly encouraged to apply,” PBOT wrote in an announcement of the extension. “We are committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive environment for everyone and will strive to make your participation meaningful and impactful to this work — and even fun.”


Here’s an outline of what PBOT hopes committee members will accomplish:

plan how to move goods through the city while meeting our goals for a safe multimodal system that supports economic prosperity, human and environmental health, equity, and resilience;

develop strategies to support freight movement in ways that advance Vision Zero and a state of good repair for our asset management in anticipation of population growth and technological changes; and

aim to reduce carbon emissions while advancing equity and addressing structural racism by engaging stakeholders and the public in examining relevant issues of environmental justice.

It’s crucial that we get freight and trucking policy right and we need new faces at the table to do that.

The application period runs through Wednesday, September 2nd. More info here

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Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Racer X
Racer X
3 years ago

Please please please…to add to what Jonathan wrote…we need knowledgable* cyclists of color ideally with a freight background to volunteer to help balance this committee’s viewpoint or 2030 will just be like 2007! * NACTO street design etc.

Hello, Kitty
Hello Kitty
3 years ago
Reply to  Racer X

You are looking for people with very specific knowledge (NACTO) with a specific background (freight) with a particular outlook (pro-cycling) who also have the right skin color.

I’m guessing this leaves a pretty small pool to fish from. If it becomes necessary to cast a wider net, which of those are the more important qualifications, and which can be relaxed?

David Hampsten
3 years ago
Reply to  Hello Kitty

I’d settle on a particular person from East Portland I know, except she’s already on the PBOT pedestrian and budget committees. Aside from being pro-walking rather than pro-biking, she meets all the other criteria you listed. And One below is right, you need to have an official “alternate” member you have chosen, preferably a friend, not a person chosen for you by PBOT. Attendance at these meetings and their subcommittees is mandatory if you want to have any real influence, and if you are an unpaid volunteer, you need a team of other unpaid volunteers to work for your cause when you can’t be there due to a time or sickness conflict. When I represented East Portland on the budget and bicycle committees, if I couldn’t attend, the unpaid representatives from Southwest (SWNI) would often step in and do an admirable job representing East Portland’s interests, and I returned the favor whenever I could.

Most committee members will be paid staff from other organizations – they are paid to attend, it’s part of their job.

Roberta Robles
Roberta Robles
3 years ago

IDK I still want some resolution on why they are even making this call for POC when they have been systemically excluding me for 5 years. Did the chair get ‘retired’ like Garret and now we are just act polite and professional we can make the Freight and commercial industr a bunch of money. Now they just want us to apply and volunteer, have fun breaking down transport systems of oppression FOR FREE? I’m having a panic attack thinking about working with PBOT.

3 years ago

I was on a PBOT board once. I was the neighborhood rep. At the time I only biked/ walked/ transited everywhere. Throughout the (Almost) year that we met, I brought up safety concerns for people walking/ biking. I was the only one on the board with those concerns. The others made no compromises with me and they widened the intersection (MLK and Columbia) that we were working on, and they made no adjustments for people walking or biking. If you join one of these boards, please ask a friend to join with you.

3 years ago

Wanted: People to sit on a committee that PBOT needs to run so they can check the “community outreach box” that they will ultimately ignore.

Lenny Anderson
Lenny Anderson
3 years ago

During my years leading the Swan Island TMA I attended a few PBOT Freight Committee meetings. It was basically a city staffed advocacy group for roadway capacity no matter the project in question…wider lanes, bigger radii, and so on. Free coffee and pastries at 7am were the best part.
Despite being a board member of the Swan Island Business Assoc. I was refused a seat on the committee. Maybe it was my NO vote on the Governors’ I-5 Task Force in 2002 or maybe it was our commitment on Swan Island to “move freight by reducing SOVs in the peak hours with better transit and more and safer bike/ped access.”
I urged then Mayor Adams to pull the plug on this foolishness, but to no avail.
That said, this is a rare opportunity to have a seat, to raise issues, to present a perspective, to demand compliance with PBOT goals on safety and global warming. There should be about a half dozen seats for residents of communities impacted by moving freight…from St Johns, to Central Eastside, to Cully, not to mention reps from Street Trust, Oregon Walks in addition to the diversity goals of PBOT’s call.
Last note that while more and more freight is moving to consumers via UPS, Fed Ex, Amazon and others, most if not all of it comes into the region via rail or air. Distribution is by truck, but we must always demand that these operations conform to a safe, multi-modal city form, not the other way around.
And please let’s put state of the art filters on all those old diesels that make Portland’s air some of the worst in the nation!