Gerik Kransky to leave The Street Trust for job with State of Oregon

(Photos: Jonathan Maus – Click for captions)

“It’s a bigger playing field with a lot more actors on it.”
— Gerik Kransky on how bike advocacy has changed since 2008.

The Street Trust has lost another senior staff member.

Gerik Kransky, who joined the organization in 2010 when they were known as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, announced yesterday he’ll leave the organization at the end of this month. Kransky has accepted a position with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality where he’ll help administer the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement grant program.

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ODOT unveils draft rules for spending new Safe Routes to School funding

A family makes their way to Beach School in north Portland on the Concord Neighborhood Greenway.
(Photo: J. Maus)

One of the bright spots in the $5.3 billion transportation package passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2017 was annual funding dedicated to Safe Routes to School.

House Bill 2017 (which the Oregon Department of Transportation now calls the Keep Oregon Moving program), included a $10 million annual investment in street safety projects within a one-mile radius of schools. That number bumps up to $15 million a year in 2023.

But when the ink on the bill dried, there remained a lot of things to figure out. Who would be eligible for the money? What would the grant process look like? Which type of roads and projects would compete best for the funds?

To answer these and other questions, ODOT convened a Safe Routes to School Rulemaking Advisory Committee. The bulk of that committee’s work is done and yesterday ODOT announced that the draft rule update for the new Safe Routes to School Fund is ready for public scrutiny.

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A bike excise tax, losing the Lottery, and more Safe Routes: Our look at state transportation funding package

The state capitol building in Salem.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

By the end of this month Oregonians will have their first look at what state lawmakers and interest groups have cooked up for a transportation package.

I’ve followed the progress and have noticed several key themes worthy of your attention. Here’s my best take on what’s going on.

But first, let’s start with an overview of how the package is being developed:

How the sausage is being made

The package is being drafted by the Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization — a 14-member body with eight Democrats and six Republicans that represent districts throughout Oregon. They’ve met five times since February 1st. Their meetings are usually less than 30 minutes long because the real work is being done in four work groups. These groups have been assigned to focus on specific topics. Here are the names of the groups and the committee members assigned to each of them:

Congestion Work Group:
– Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas)
– Rep. Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland)
– Rep. Susan McLain (D-Hillsboro)
– Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose)

Public Transit/Bike/Ped/Safety Work Group:
– Sen. Lee Beyer (D-Springfield)
– Sen. Rod Monroe (D-Portland)
– Sen. Kathleen Taylor (D-Milwaukie)

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The legislative session, The Street Trust, and you (a three-part series)

For Every Kid Coalition.jpg

The Street Trust is part of a large coalition of nonprofits working to make sure the upcoming transportation package gets passed with adequate funding for biking, walking and transit. Safe Routes to School funding will be a major focus.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

(Note: This article is written by Gerik Kransky, policy director for The Street Trust (formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance). It’s the first in a three-part series about their work on a major funding package that will be debated during the 2017 Oregon legislative session.)

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Guest post: What you can do to improve bicycling in Portland right now

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Utrecht study tour-9

Gerik Kransky, in brown.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Editor’s note: This post is from Gerik Kransky, advocacy director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Last week was a big week for conversations among people who ride bikes, advocates, activists, media, and the general public. Everyone is talking about the petition to rescind Portland’s Platinum bicycle-friendly status by the League of American Bicyclists.

So what’s next? How do we push today to improve conditions for bicycling tomorrow? Here are five ideas for immediate action.

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Politics and pedaling at ‘Bike Town Hall’ and ‘Beers and Bikes’ events

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Rotterdam street scenes-20

A pair of bike advocates are hosting
a fundraiser for Metro Councilor
Sam Chase, shown here in
Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Two upcoming events are perfect examples of how bicycling plays an important role in local, regional, and statewide politics.

Tonight at Lucky Lab in northwest Portland (1945 NW Quimby), a pair of bike advocates are hosting a fundraiser for Metro Councilor Sam Chase, who won the race for Rex Burkholder’s old Council seat back in May 2012. Chase was part of a delegation from Portland that recently traveled to the Netherlands on a bicycle study tour sponsored by Bikes Belong/Green Lane Project. This event is being hosted by Gerik Kranksy and Jenn Dice, both of whom joined Chase on that trip (disclaimer: I was there too). While Kransky and Dice are both high-profile professional bike advocates (with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Bikes Belong respectively), they are hosting this event as private citizens and not representing their employers.

Councilor Chase has returned from the Netherlands with a new understanding for how valuable bicycling can be for our city and communities and he’s poised to be a great future leader on the issue. Tonight’s event is being billed as an informal chance to meet Chase and share your perspectives on bicycling. “Sam wants to learn more about what changes would make Portland an even better place to ride a bike,” reads the flyer, “Great guy, pro bike, let’s get together to celebrate and support Sam.”

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As opposition grows, supporters defend bike share funding decision

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Not even 24 hours has passed and the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) decision to include bike share in a federal funding request is already facing opposition — and some of it is coming from unlikely places.

But, while this bike share funding decision is poised to become just the latest bike-related political/media punching bag, supporters of the project are confident and feel that the time is right to move forward.

At issue is whether or not a large-scale bike-sharing system deserves funding priority over other, more traditional biking and walking safety projects. Bike share is on a $6.6 million list of three active transportation projects that PBOT hopes to get adopted by City Council tomorrow. Not on that list is the SW Barbur Boulevard Streetscape project, which would improve a street that has claimed two lives in the last year and that many neighborhood activists have been working on for years.

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Former environmental organizer is BTA’s new Advocacy Campaign Manager

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Gerik Kransky
(Photo: OLCV)

The Portland-based Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has hired Gerik Kransky to be their new Advocacy Campaign Manager. Kransky, age 30, was previously outreach director for the non-profit land use group 1000 Friends of Oregon and has also worked with SOLV and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Back in October, Kransky was given a “Best Supporting Activist Award” by the Bus Project for his work with 1000 Friends. I asked him this morning how his previous experiences might serve him in the trenches of bike advocacy:

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