Advocacy Archives

Pleas to drive more safely echo at ‘Rally to end unsafe streets’

Posted on September 1st, 2016 at 12:12 pm.

BTA Rally to End Unsafe Streets-3.jpg

Oregon Walks Executive Director Noel Mickelberry pushed back tears as she said the recent spate of deaths and injuries have been “debilitating” for her organization.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

No matter what Portland does to address the fatalities and injuries on our roads, in the end safety comes down to one major factor: personal behavior. That was the predominant opinion of the speakers at a rally “To end unsafe streets” held in downtown Portland this morning.

The event was organized by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (soon to be called the Street Trust). That organization’s Executive Director Rob Sadowsky reminded the few dozen people and handful of media crews that showed up that Portland has had 30 road deaths so far this year. An “enormous amount,” he said.
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The Street Trust (formerly the BTA) is planning a rally tomorrow to “End unsafe streets”

Posted on August 31st, 2016 at 3:18 pm.

“It is all of our responsibility to drive, bike, and walk as if it is our own child, grandchild, or grandparent who will be crossing the road at the next intersection. Simply put, we must slow down and we must be vigilant.”
— Rob Sadowsky, executive director of the Street Trust

The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) has made a public statement about the death of young Fallon Smart and the serious collision yesterday that left 15-year-old Bradley Fortner with a brain injury.

“We need action now,” says Street Trust Executive Director Rob Sadowsky. “I am deeply saddened each time I hear about another road death. It is all of our responsibility to drive, bike, and walk as if it is our own child, grandchild, or grandparent who will be crossing the road at the next intersection. Simply put, we must slow down and we must be vigilant.”

The statement comes with an announcement of a rally that will be held tomorrow (Thursday, September 1st) at the north end of the North Park Blocks. The rally is being coordinated with — and will include representatives from — Oregon Walks, Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
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How New York City advocates are responding to their unsafe streets crisis

Posted on August 30th, 2016 at 11:52 am.

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Portland is reeling from a record pace of traffic fatalities and a string of three horrific collisions involving teenagers in the past three weeks. Many local activists are using the word “crisis” to describe the lack of safety and irresponsible vehicle use on our streets.

Portland is not alone.
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Mayor Hales has advice for bike advocates: Get louder and get organized

Posted on July 27th, 2016 at 3:30 pm.

Hales spoke in the new public plaza on SW 3rd yesterday.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Hales spoke in the new public plaza on SW 3rd yesterday.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales offered a very unexpected admonition during an informal, invite-only meeting yesterday. It was a veiled criticism of Portland’s transportation advocates — and bike advocates in particular. Yes, you read that right, bike advocates: the group many Portlanders (mistakenly) assume wields unlimited power in City Hall.

Hales’ comments came at the end of a brief speech he gave while standing in the new Ankeny Plaza on SW 3rd in front of about two dozen advocates, city staffers, and other local leaders. His remarks were mostly about his support for Better Naito, the importance of great public spaces and the city’s new “livable streets strategy.” But then he ended with a plea for more support from advocates — many of whom were standing right in front of him.

I happened to have my recorder on. Here’s the transcript (with my emphasis added):[Read more…]

‘Portlanders for Central City Bikeways’ Facebook group will help advocates network online

Posted on July 19th, 2016 at 8:24 am.

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Screen grab from the Facebook group.

Facebook is the most important organizing tool in the world right now — look at its success for everyone from Portland Tenants United to the president of Turkey — so it’s nice to see pro-biking volunteers putting it to strategic use.

As Portland gets ready to roll out a long-awaited network of protected bike lanes in its central city, there’s a new Facebook group for people in favor of biking improvements there.

Portlanders for Central City Bikeways was created Monday by Kiel Johnson, owner of the Go By Bike shop and valet in the South Waterfront. Here’s how he described his vision for the group in his first post:

[Read more…]

BTA will ask members to ratify name change at annual meeting

Posted on July 12th, 2016 at 9:00 am.

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BTA head Rob Sadowsky at the member’s meeting in 2012.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland-based biking advocacy group that is transitioning into a biking-walking-transit advocacy group plans to unveil its proposed new name on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

It’ll happen at the organization’s annual members meeting, which will be 5:30 to 7:30 at Velo Cult Bike Shop, 1969 NE 42nd Avenue.

Bicycle Transportation Alliance Executive Director Rob Sadowsky said Monday that the organization’s board and staff will then ask members present for an up-or-down vote on the name proposal.

[Read more…]

BikeLoud, Livable Streets Action will ride to Salem July 16 for transportation reform

Posted on July 1st, 2016 at 9:41 am.

roca bikeway

The ride will use parts of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.
(Photo: Russ Roca/The Path Less Pedaled for Travel Oregon)

Two Portland-based grassroots groups are biking to Salem this month in an echo of the tactics that built pressure for Oregon’s 1971 bike bill.

Organizers for BikeLoudPDX and Livable Streets Action say they’re responding to Oregon’s 42 percent increase in roadway fatalities in the last two years.

“If 700 people died in a crash or collision as a one-time event, the state would prioritize everything that could be done to prevent this kind of tragedy happening,” said Soren Impey, BikeLoudPDX’s direct action coordinator. “But over the past two years, this is what’s happened, and there hasn’t been what we believe is an appropriate type of response.”

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A ride into the future with east Portland’s biking action committee

Posted on June 29th, 2016 at 9:37 am.

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Walter Lersch and Elizabeth Quiroz on NE Weidler. A curb-protected bike lane couplet will arrive there next year.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland’s vast east side has huge potential for biking, and many millions of dollars in biking improvements are poised to drop on its streets.

It’s also gearing up for what could be a regional-destination bike recreation park in the form of Gateway Green.

But the little cadre of folks who’ve scored those victories are looking for new blood to set the area’s next goals. The East Portland Action Plan bike committee invited me to join them on a tour Tuesday night of some of the most promising biking projects about to happen on the east side.

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#WorkzoneFTW? City may require walking and biking routes around building sites

Posted on June 28th, 2016 at 9:48 am.

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A proposed city policy would require builders to look for a way around.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A proposed policy before the city council Wednesday would withhold city permits from builders that block sidewalks or bike lanes around their work sites without first considering reuse of parking and travel lanes.

The action comes after a months-long social media campaign from Oregon Walks and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, which evolved out of a years-long behind-the-scenes effort by the BTA.

The city’s draft policy stops short of saying that walking, biking or traveling by mobility device are always higher priorities in work zones than traveling by car. Instead, it says that walking and biking routes should only be blocked if no other option is “practicable.” Here’s some other relevant language:

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BTA will change name, expand mission to walking, transit and political action

Posted on June 6th, 2016 at 10:01 am.

2013 BTA Alice Awards-17

BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky says the changes will usher in a new era of progress.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Change is afoot once again at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. The Portland-based nonprofit organization announced today that they’ve embarked on a major transition that will result in a new name, a new mission, and a new entity that will allow them to be more engaged in political lobbying.

“This is about building a broad political tent that can move policymakers.”
— Rob Sadowsky, executive director

The organization plans to no longer focus solely on bicycling and will expand their mission to include advocacy for better transit and walking. In addition, the BTA board has voted in favor of creating a 501c4 alongside the 501c3, a move that would give the BTA more tools to influence elections and politics through endorsements, direct political lobbying, phone-banking for candidates, and so on. The 501c4 would also offer memberships to other organizations with aligned missions: like Oregon Walks, the Community Cycling Center, 1000 Friends of Oregon, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, and others. After the reorganization is complete the BTA could lead a new political action committee (PAC) that could have wide-ranging impacts on elections and policy measures statewide.

In an interview with BTA leadership last week I learned that this change has been in the works for many years.
[Read more…]