Oregon Active Transportation Summit set for March 17-19

The Oregon Active Transportation Summit moves to a new venue this year. The Street Trust’s annual gathering of planning professionals, agency staffersm thinkers and activists takes place at the Oregon Convention Center. The three-day event will have an explicit focus on climate action and transportation justice and will be headlined by Emma Marris, an environmental writer based in Klamath Falls.

As always, OATS will feature workshops, panels, and roundtable discussions aimed at sharpening your transportation planning and advocacy toolkit.

Tamika Butler from Toole Design Group will kick off the summit on Tuesday with a transportation equity and justice workshop.

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Opinion: Tough love on a tough subject

Charles Brown speaking at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit held at the Oregon Zoo last week.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“How can you call yourself a bike-friendly town if you have people of color who are afraid to leave their house? How do you even accept these awards? It’s a moral question.”

Those comments are why Charles Brown (@CTBrown1911) is a name that won’t soon be forgotten by the hundreds of people in attendance at his keynote speech during the Oregon Active Transportation Conference last week.

Brown, a researcher and transportation justice activist, delivered some very real talk to the policymakers, advocates, and agency staffers in the room — several of whom audibly gasped when he questioned our bike-friendly status viewed through a lens of racial justice.

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Former Obama transpo secretary will headline Oregon Active Transportation Summit

Charles Brown (L) and Anthony Foxx will deliver keynote speeches on April 25th.
(Photos: Brown, Rutgers University; Foxx, Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Active Transportation Summit will take place April 24th through the 26th at the Oregon Zoo. The annual conference is organized by The Street Trust and features a full slate of mobile workshops, plenary sessions, professional training, and networking opportunities.

Headlining the summit’s main day — Thursday, April 25th — will be a noted researcher and a Cabinet Secretary for former President Barack Obama.

Former Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx spent four years as Obama’s Transportation Secretary and as of last October works for Lyft as their chief policy officer. Foxx visited Portland in 2016 as part of the US Department of Transportation’s “Smart City” initiative.

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Charles Brown is a senior researcher at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) and adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Mr. Brown will deliver the lunch keynote. In 2018 he was nominated for a “Streetsie Advocate of the Year” award by Streetsblog Los Angeles for his, “important work on the intersections of race and mobility.”

In a statement about the event, The Street Trust Executive Director Jillian Detweiler said, “This year, many sessions address ways to achieve more equitable outcomes from our transportation system.”

Among the topics of Thursday’s breakout sessions are: Voices From Williams Avenue; Designing Safe Streets for Pedestrians of Color: The Intersection of Equity Engineering and Vision Zero; Inclusive Bike and Scooter Share; Creating Bike Networks; Let’s (Not) Talk About Congestion; and more.

After a day of interesting keynotes and sessions, The Street Trust will host a Pecha Kucha event at Rock Bottom Brewery. Unwind with friends old and new as you listen to a series of short and stimulating presentations on a variety of transportation-related presentations.

Register for the event and view the full schedule here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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‘Human Transit’ author Jarrett Walker to keynote Oregon Active Transportation Summit

Jarrett Walker.
(Photo: Jarrett Walker)

Starting this Sunday with mobile tours and a social mixer, transportation reform activists from across the region and state will gather in Portland for the annual Oregon Active Transportation Summit. The event, hosted by The Street Trust, offers three days of presentations, workshops, speeches, and more.

Taking place this year at the Oregon Zoo, the event (3/19 – 3/21) also includes the Oregon Safe Routes to School Annual Meeting and the Oregon Bicycle Tourism Conference (presented by Travel Oregon). If you care about making it easier to bike, walk, or take transit in Oregon — or if you are a professional in the field seeking to learn the latest best practices — you should consider taking part.

The main event kicks off Monday morning with keynote speaker Jarrett Walker. Walker is a transit consultant based in Portland and author of the book, Human Transit: How clearer thinking about public transit can enrich our communities and our lives. Walker also maintains blog, has a Ph.D. in Drama and Literature from Stanford University, and is only person with peer-reviewed articles in both the Journal of Transport Geography and Shakespeare Quarterly.

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BikeLoudPDX hits Active Transportation Summit with “not-so-cool infrastructure” flyer

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
oatslead

Bike Loud PDX co-chairs Emily Guise (L),
Jessica Engelman, and Ted Buehler.
(Photo: BikeLoudPDX)

Leaders of the all-volunteer transportation activist group Bike Loud PDX were at this week’s Oregon Active Transportation Summit with a message you don’t usually hear at those type of events: Portland ain’t all that.

Bike Loud PDX passed out a two-page flyer to summit attendees encouraging them to not only learn about Portland’s success but also “talk about the not-so-cool infrastructure we have too.”

Here’s the text from the flyer:

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Could it work here? How Seattle’s big new housing compromise came together

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
separate signal phases bidirectional 2nd seattle

Seattle’s recent housing breakthrough may have lessons for keeping bikeable parts of Portland affordable.
(Photo: Adam Coppola)

Here’s one way to think about the political battle over housing in growing cities, spelled out Monday at an Oregon Active Transportation Summit panel: it’s got three main interest groups.

One group is social-justice advocates and tenants. These people are generally interested in keeping prices lower one way or another, especially for the lowest-income people.

One group is environmentalists, businesses and the development industry. These people are (for various reasons) generally interested in increasing the number of people living in the city.

The third group is a highly active subset of single-family homeowners. These people are generally interested in maintaining or increasing the value of their property, especially while keeping things the way they were when they bought it.

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