Local filmmaker Joe Biel has put out a new video with some highlights from 2010′s Portland Bicycle Plan Hearing & Rally. It’s a great opportunity to revisit the prevailing positive energy in City Hall that day. Underlying all the optimism was a sense of frustration that the city’s plan lacked the most critical component to a successful bikeway network: funding.
The fact that no money was attached to the plan didn’t prevent some folks from lambasting Mayor Adams and City Council for committing the city to a $600 million bikeway network. On the advocacy side, the BTA’s Build it! campaign faded away, their last post on July 2010. The BTA recently produced a one year review of the Bicycle Plan, calling for the city to increase its short term ambitions.
AROW and other allies held a series of thank you letter writing events to help put some wind beneath the wings of our city’s active transportation strategy. Meanwhile, we heard behind the scenes that Mayor Adams was never, ever thanked for supporting bicycle improvements and that the Mayor gets a thousand calls a month opposing them.
Almost two years later, the word “bicycle” is now reviled as cuss word and a symbol of all things Portland in our state capitol, vital federal active transportation dollars are due to be slashed while locally PBOT is preparing for $16 million in cuts annually. We are also in the middle of a handful of tight political races. Thankfully the resurgent Bike Walk Vote PAC is set to ensure candidates are vetted on their commitments to active transportation.
Will 2012 bear fruit from the Bicycle Plan? Can we fund it? We may be asking the same questions for years to come.