Advocacy

Welcome to our coverage of advocacy news. In this section you’ll find stories on the major advocacy organizations and campaigns that are shaping cycling in Portland and beyond.

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Major new pro-transit advocacy group prepares to launch in Portland

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 8th, 2013 at 3:58 pm

David Knowles

David Knowles, a longtime politico,
is leading the new effort.
(2012 photo by Portland Afoot)

A new nonprofit advocacy group is setting out to be public transportation’s answer to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Using Seattle’s Transportation Choices Coalition as their working model, a small group of Portland-based advocates has been working since December under the leadership of David Knowles, the top Portland executive at government contractor CH2M Hill, to discuss the nonprofit startup.

The group is in the process of recruiting its founding staffer.

“I think this region has generally been committed to transit, but a focused effort to expand transit is really needed at this time,” Mara Gross, interim executive director of the Coalition for a Livable Future and a participant in the conversation, said Monday. “Lower-income communities and communities of color are increasingly living in a ring around the central cities. They’re in East Portland, east county, Washington County, Clark County … regions that are harder to serve by transit.”

Rob Sadowsky and Steph Routh, executive directors of the BTA and Oregon Walks, have also been invited to the talks, as have TriMet, Bernie Bottomly of the Portland Business Alliance, the anti-sprawl nonprofit 1000 Friends of Oregon, and representatives of many local businesses including chipmaker Intel, planning firm David Evans and Associates, architects Zimmer Gunsul Frasca and downtown real estate firm Melvin Mark.
[Read more…]

Bike stars shine at BTA Alice Awards

Avatar by on May 6th, 2013 at 4:33 pm

2013 BTA Alice Awards-37

Alice Award winners Kristen Warren (L) and Alison
Hill Graves with former Bike Gallery owner
Jay Graves and the BTA’s Rob Sadowsky.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

On Saturday night, the stars of bike advocacy from around the region aligned in northwest Portland for the 18th annual Alice Awards benefit auction. Known as “Alice,” it’s the largest fundraising event of the year for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA). With hundreds of people in attendance (each of whom paid $125 to be there), the night is full of fun, socializing, and shopping for a good cause.

With a nod toward celebrating the 50,000th grade school student to receive the BTA’s Bicycle Safety Education program, this year’s theme was “Tomorrow’s riders start today.” The main events of the night were the live auction, the crowning of award winners, and a nod to one very special bike advocate.

[Read more…]

BTA 2013 legislative push: More funding, lower speeds, more enforcement

Avatar by on January 8th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

BTA Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky
at Velo Cult last night.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance has embarked on their 2013 legislative campaign. Last night they revealed that the three bills they plan to lobby for center around funding, speed limits, and enforcement.

The bills are substantial and they mark a full-force return to lobbying in Salem after the BTA opted to lay low and rebuild relationships with legislators in the 2011 session.

At a BTA-hosted happy hour event at Velo Cult Bike Shop last night, Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky shared that their “three-pronged approach” is “all about safety.”
[Read more…]

BTA-led coalition seeks to restore active transportation cuts in City budget

Avatar by on December 12th, 2012 at 11:26 am

BTA’s Gerik Kransky (L) and freight
advocate Corky Collier after the PBOT Budget BAC
meeting yesterday.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the face of severe cuts to active transportation in the PBOT budget that came to light last month, a coalition led by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) presented a proposal yesterday to restore nearly half of them.

With dwindling revenue forecasts, PBOT has had cut their budget for several years now. This year’s gap was estimated to be $4.4 million. Of that, PBOT proposed $1.5 million in cuts to active transportation — $1 million from projects and $500,000 to programs and staffing. The cuts would impact programs like Sunday Parkways, Safe Routes to School, neighborhood greenway projects, and more. [Read more…]

BTA hears top project ideas for ‘Blueprint’ effort

Avatar by on October 19th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

BTA Blueprint meeting at City Hall-3

Steve Hoyt-McBeth jots down his group’s ideas
at yesterday’s event in City Hall.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

At City Hall during the lunch hour yesterday, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) enlisted the help of Portland’s brightest biking minds to prioritize the “world-class bikeways” that will act as the organization’s ‘Blueprint‘ for the future.

The event was hosted by the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) as part of their monthly “Bicycle Brown Bag” discussion series. Around 40 people showed up for the participatory discussion (10 of which were women, if you’re counting). BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky and Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky opened the event by offering some historical context.
[Read more…]

BTA fights as Metro funding battle brews once again

Avatar by on October 10th, 2012 at 11:07 am

“It is unacceptable to the BTA to consider overturning our current policy… The Port [of Portland]… wants this money for highway/road projects. Now is the time to say no.”
— Gerik Kransky, BTA

A funding fight is brewing at Metro over how the regional planning agency should allocate nearly $38 million in federal funds. Unlike the vast majority of transportation funds fought over by various regional interest groups, these funds are “flexible,” meaning they can be spent on nearly any type of project. With scarce dollars in play these days, the competition to snag them is intense.

The $37.78 on the table at Metro is a portion of $147 million in “regional flexible funds” they will dole out through the federal government’s Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP) for the years of 2016 – 2018.
[Read more…]

BTA toasts participants, success of 16th annual commute ‘Challenge’

Avatar by on October 7th, 2011 at 10:24 am

Did we win?!
(Photos: Will Vanlue)

Photos and story by Will Vanlue

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) celebrated another successful Bike Commute Challenge with a party in Memorial Coliseum last night.

For the sixteenth year in a row the BTA’s annual competition encouraged commuters around the Portland metro area to ride their bicycle to work during the month of September. Although the event is a friendly competition, this year the BTA encouraged participants to “throw down” and challenge friends and other teams to see who would ride their bicycle to work most often.

And throw down they did. [Read more…]

First Look: People for Bikes’ “Bikes Make Life Better” video

Avatar by on May 11th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Photo from filming of the video in Los Angeles.
(Photos © J. Maus)

People for Bikes, the national effort by Bikes Belong to raise awareness and support for bicycling, has just released a new video they hope will spread the idea that “Bikes Make Life Better.”

The short video, filmed in Los Angeles, uses projection technology to visually illustrate the impact bicycling has on cities. As riders — a woman on a Dutch bike, a profession commuter on a single-speed, and a group of BMX’ers — roll through the streets, birds, trees and waterfalls appear on structures around them.

Watch the video below:[Read more…]

Alice Awards puts spotlight on cycling’s superheroes

Avatar by on April 25th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

BTA Alice Awards 2011 -10

It was a sell-out crowd.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The 2011 Alice Awards & Auction, presented by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, once again raised the bar for bike advocacy events in Portland. At a stunning new venue in the Pearl District, about 480 of our region’s bike luminaries showed up — and dressed up — for a night to honor great work by both the BTA and this year’s crop of Alice winners.
[Read more…]

The bike/transit alliance: The good, the bad, and the experts

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 4th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

This guest post is by Michael Andersen of Portland Afoot, a “10-minute newsmagazine” and wiki about low-car life in Portland.

max and bike (old shot from archives)

A big strategy shift was in the air at this year’s Oregon Active Transportation Summit, the two-day conference and lobbying blitz that was, until 2011, known as the Oregon Bike Summit. Woven through the lectures and panels was a new bit of gospel: That bike and transit advocates need to work together. That they’ll get more done if they team up.

The umbrella they should share, believers say: “active transportation.” “Active transportation” includes riding the MAX? You’d better believe it, said BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky.
[Read more…]