‘Move into action’ at this year’s Oregon Active Transportation Summit

(Inset photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Street Trust’s 2023 Oregon Active Transportation Summit is less than a month away. For those not yet in-the-know, this summit is an annual meeting of the minds for advocates, community leaders, city officials, and politicians across Oregon and beyond. It features interesting panels and opportunities for exchanging ideas about how to reform our transportation system.

This year, the summit’s theme is “move into action,” and The Street Trust (TST) says their goal for the event is to “take big ideas for our transportation future and make them actionable.”

“The challenges to building a safe, accessible, racially equitable, and climate smart transportation system are getting more complex every day,” TST states. “Now is the time to build our capacity to take the lead with urgency and enthusiasm… we’ve curated a program that will move interaction beyond discussion into coordinated action for specific outcomes.”

This year’s summit will be a mix of in-person programming at the Lloyd Center (where TST’s offices and ‘Hub’ transportation coworking space is located) and virtual content. Guest speakers will include Ryan Sharp, the Director of Transportation and Parking for the City of Hoboken (which is known for its effective approach to Vision Zero), TriMet General Manager Sam Desue, Jr., who will present on the state of Oregon transit, and Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, who will do a reading of her recently-published book.

The panel discussions will cover a large range of active transportation topics. Here are the various tracks attendees can explore:

  • Resiliency & Prosperity – how do we prepare our transportation system for changing conditions and how do we withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions, including pandemics and climate change?
  • Accessible & Inclusive Mobility – how do we center disability, race, age, and gender to achieve transportation equity and a system that works for all?
  • Future-Proofing Transportation Funding – in 1919, Oregon led the nation with the first gas tax, but rapidly changing society and technology demand new solutions – how will we equitably pay for transportation in the future? 
  • E-bikes & Micromobility – how do we move light individual transportation options from emergent tech to mobility workhorses, solving problems for people and places?
  • Safe Routes & Great Streets for All – how do we work better together encompassing and surpassing Vision Zero and Safe Routes to Schools?
  • NEW! Tools, Tips, & Tricks for Making Sh*t Happen – a community curated track for you, by you – Have an activist toolkit to share? An organizing success story to celebrate? A potentially transformative idea or innovation that needs workshopping? This is your venue.

Each morning of the summit will include two networking events for transportation people to mingle and swap ideas. There will also be a “Sunday Fun Day” multimodal scavenger hunt and kickoff party on Sunday, April 23rd as well as a PechaKucha ideas/pitch session on the evening of Tuesday, April 25th. Both of these events will be open to the general public, not just summit-goers. TST will have more information about how to sign up for the PechaKucha event soon.

Here are just a few of the talks and events that have caught our eyes:

  • Activate Portland’s waterfront and waterways;
  • Houselessness and transportation safety;
  • Cross-Section Trade Offs:
  • Achieving Complete Streets within Limited Space; Artists Organizing on the Streets; Steps towards a multi-modal delivery system – blending cargo bikes, autonomous vehicles, transit, and more to create synergistic magic.

If you work in transportation or are interested in improving active transportation in the Pacific Northwest, you might be interested in this event. You can buy tickets to the summit here. TST is also looking for volunteers to help with the event — if you sign up for a four-hour shift you will get free admission to the event! Sign up here, and quick — volunteer slots are filling up fast.

You can find out more about this year’s summit at TST’s website. And check our past coverage to get a feel for what to expect.

Taylor Griggs

Taylor Griggs

Taylor was BikePortland's staff writer from 2021 to 2023. She currently writes for the Portland Mercury. Contact her at taylorgriggswriter@gmail.com

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