Advocacy Archives

Portland’s network of bike clubs for women is thriving

Posted on September 6th, 2017 at 1:02 pm.

The Bikin’ Betties of Portland.
(Photo: Bikin’ Betties on Facebook)

The community of people who love bicycling in Portland is always changing and evolving. As someone who watches over it everday, I’ve noticed a nice trend of late: A proliferation of riding clubs devoted specifically to women.

It’s a very encouraging sign and a testament to the depth and breadth of who’s riding bikes in Portland. Statistically speaking (as of 2014), women make up about one-third of Portland’s daily bike traffic citywide; but you wouldn’t know that if you could see my social media timelines and inbox. Just since the start of summer I’ve learned of several new groups. Add them to the existing foundation of clubs and initiatives aimed at women on bikes and you’ve got a connected network where nearly anyone can find a home for their biking passions.

If you’re looking for a supportive place to meet other riders, check out the info below. From bikepacking to business, there’s something for just about everyone.

I’ll share the new (to me, at least) groups first, followed by a list of the older ones…

Bikin’ Betties

Bikin’ Betties is a ladies-only bike ride on Monday nights. It’s a great way to meet fellow female cyclists, get a bit of a workout, learn awesome bike routes around our city, and become more skilled and confident on our bikes. Anyone who gender identifies as a woman or who is gender non-binary is welcome.

Find them on Facebook. You can also join them for a special, culinary-themed ride to the “Black Feast” dinner on September 10th.
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Governor Brown reverses veto threat: The SW Capitol Hwy project is safe

Posted on August 15th, 2017 at 2:40 pm.

We did it!

You raised your voices. Oregon Governor Kate Brown heard them. And she has changed her mind.

The Governor just announced she will not go through with her threatened veto of over $2 million in funding for the SW Capitol Highway project. The project will build a crucial biking and walking connection between Multnomah Village and Taylors Ferry Road that the neighborhood has worked for since 1991.

Here’s the official word via a letter from the Governor’s office (full PDF of the letter here):
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‘No Veto’ campaign update: Governor expected to make decision today

Posted on August 15th, 2017 at 10:19 am.

Pressure on Oregon Governor Kate Brown to reverse a threatened veto on the SW Capitol Highway Project has increased significantly over the past week.

As we await word on her final decision, here’s a recap of what’s happened since we first reported the story six days ago:

➤ Stats from an email we sent to BikePortland supporters (paid subscribers and donors) show that over 60 people have clicked over to Governor Brown’s feedback page so far. That’s in addition to many people who’ve told us — via Facebook, Twitter, and on the BP blog — that they took action and made their voice heard. Thank you for all your support!

➤ Respected nonprofit organizations like Oregon Walks, The Street Trust, and the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association have all boosted our campaign by linking to our action alert and stories.
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Key senator speaks out on Governor’s veto threat as voters flood office with concerns

Posted on August 11th, 2017 at 10:13 am.

Pressure is building on Oregon Governor Brown to reverse her threat to veto a long-awaited infrastructure project in southwest Portland. In the past two days readers of BikePortland have helped spur dozens of phone calls and emails to her office. Our community’s voices are helping buoy efforts by legislators who are urging the Governor to reconsider.

Here’s where things stand…[Read more…]

Nascent ‘Oregon Statewide Trails Coalition’ comes into focus with summit planned for fall

Posted on August 8th, 2017 at 2:39 pm.

Portland to Stub Stewart family camping trip-27.jpg

New coalition will speak for trails and paths like the Banks-Vernonia.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

From a world-class mountain biking route to a new coastal path through the forest, there’s a lot going on with trails throughout Oregon.

But so far we don’t have a statewide advocacy group or coalition that ties all the loose threads together and speaks as one voice when it comes to raising awareness for projects or lobbying for funding and trail-friendly policies in Salem.

Not yet that is.

Travel Oregon has been aware of this shortcoming and commissioned a study last year that surveyed the current trails advocacy landscape. What started as a vision for a new group is now coming into focus with what’s being referred to as the Oregon Statewide Trails Coalition. The group hasn’t been officially launched, but it was named in a save-the-date notice released by organizers of a trails summit scheduled to happen on October 27th in Bend (one day before the Cross Crusade invades town).[Read more…]

The Street Trust picks former TriMet planner and Charlie Hales staffer as new executive director

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 at 8:57 am.

Jillian Detweiler.
(Photo: The Street Trust)

Jillian Detweiler is the new leader of The Street Trust.

The 51-year-old northeast Portland resident who lives on the Going Street Neighborhood Greenway and tells us she “cheered” when its sharrows appeared in front of her house, is a new kind of leader for an organization in the midst of transformation.

Detweiler is currently the interim development manager for Prosper Portland (formerly the Portland Development Commission). Before that she served three years as a policy director for former Mayor Charlie Hales — her second stint on Hales’ team after working with him out of college in the mid 1990s.

After earning a Masters degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina in 1992, Detweiler worked on planning and permit issues for then Commissioner Hales from 1995 to 2002. After that she spent 12 years at TriMet — first as a planner and then as director of real estate. In that position she oversaw $240 million in property acquisitions as part of the MAX Orange Line project.

With her background of city hall politics, transit planning, and high-profile development work, the selection of Detweiler reflects The Street Trust’s goal of becoming a political powerhouse with an expansive portfolio and the funding streams to make it all possible. She has no experience in professional bicycle activism, and that’s likely part of the reason she was hired (we heard from sources that The Street Trust favored candidates with more political experience).
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Activists will speak out against GM’s support of freeway expansions at TriMet board meeting

Posted on March 17th, 2017 at 10:35 am.

Jessica Engelman of BikeLoudPDX.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The thought of our regional public transit agency advocating for urban freeway expansions — including one in Portland’s central city — does not sit well with many transportation reform activists.

After TriMet GM Neil McFarlane told an audience last month that “It would be nice to make some progress on” three freeway “bottlenecks” in order to “keep our region moving,” volunteers with BikeLoudPDX decided it was time to speak out.

The plucky group is planning to attend the upcoming TriMet board meeting. They want to tell the people who appointed McFarlane that some Portlanders don’t think he should promote a billion dollars of regional transportation funds just to make driving easier.
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Advocates hit the Hill for National Bike Summit lobby day

Posted on March 8th, 2017 at 7:58 am.

bikes on Capitol Hill -2.jpg

Bikes — and the people who love them — are making their presence felt on Capitol Hill today.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Hundreds of advocates are on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. today to remind members of Congress that bicycling — and transportation reform in general — is a high priority for the American people.

Lobby day is one of the most important elements of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit. It’s a time for advocates to make a personal connection with their elected representatives, share stories about why bicycling matters, and make specific “asks” for bills and policies to support.
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National Bike Summit: The health of the bike movement — and its future under Trump

Posted on March 6th, 2017 at 8:11 pm.

Bike Summit bike ride-8

Sunny — but with a few dark clouds.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Day one of the 2017 National Bike Summit is in the books. After a two-year hiatus, we decided to head back to D.C.

I was motivated to make the journey for several reasons. With the Trump era in full-swing, it seems like showing up for bikes in the nation’s capitol is more important than ever. Relatedly, I wanted to check the pulse of the national movement: If we do receive a major attack, will we be healthy enough to fend it off? Is it even possible to have a “we” anymore?
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Guest article: The Street Trust’s goals for the 2017 transportation funding package

Posted on March 1st, 2017 at 3:56 pm.

(Author’s note: This article is the second part in a three-part series from The Street Trust, the Portland-based nonprofit fighting to win $161 million for safe streets, transit operations, and clean air in the 2017 Oregon legislative session. See part one here)

Cover of Transportation for Oregon’s Future legislative plan outline.
(PDF)

Oregon is in the best position to pass policy improvements and transportation funding in the 2017 legislative session, since the highway-heavy Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009. This is our chance to win $161 million in funding for safe streets.

The Street Trust is part of Transportation for Oregon, a coalition of progressive partners including Oregon Environmental Council, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Transportation for America, Better Eugene-Springfield Transit, the Oregon Conservation Network, as well as many others who are focused on winning the following key priorities in this session’s forthcoming transportation package:

Goal: A new state and/or local revenue source for transit needs.

Currently, transit providers across the state are unable to keep up with increased ridership, the needs of youth, the needs of older adults, and the needs of people with disabilities. Oregon contributes proportionately much less funding to transit than most other states—only 3% of operations funding, compared with state contributions of over 24% nationally. We’re asking the legislature to provide state funding to match and leverage local, regional and federal funds; to invest in more transit service (a lifeline in rural communities and key growth strategy in cities and suburbs).

[Read more…]