Oregon Walks ED Ashton Simpson on Hawthorne, ‘aggressive’ bike culture, and more

Posted on February 16th, 2021 at 4:23 pm.

Oregon Walks Executive Director Ashton Simpson.

Ashton Simpson took over as leader of the nonprofit Oregon Walks back in January. Before that, the Russell neighborhood resident and active volunteer for transportation issues ran for statewide office.

I reached out to him last week to get his perspective on the debate around the Hawthorne Boulevard paving project. Our chat went longer than expected.

Below is a slightly edited version of our conversation:

Any thoughts on the Hawthorne decision?

“I wasn’t involved in it at all. Outside of what was released yesterday [Tuesday, February 9th], I didn’t even know that project was happening. I’m still trying to get wrap my head around the organization and all the things that go along with it. But I did talk to someone on our Plans and Projects Committee and her and I both agree that what they proposed now is better than what is out there today. Granted, it was a big loss for a bike lane on that road, especially for those who live in that community. I wish that could have been added on. But at the same time, we had limited space requirements and they’re trying to fit a lot of stuff in there. [Read more…]

Q & A with Polly Trottenberg, Asst Sec of Transportation Policy at the USDOT

Posted on December 20th, 2011 at 8:17 am.

Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation Polly Trottenberg speaking at the Sellwood Bridge Project groundbreaking last week.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Last week I sat down with Polly Trottenberg, the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Asst. Sec. Trottenberg was in town to deliver a $17.7 million check for the Sellwood Bridge Project. I caught up with her at Clever Cycles on SE Hawthorne Blvd. We talked about the role of activists, the new era of highway funding, the CRC project, and more.

Below is the transcript of our conversation.[Read more…]