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.
Elly Blue writes:
Portland is undergoing a process to create something called the Portland Plan, a guiding document aimed towards achieving an ambitious list of environmental, educational, and economic goals by 2035.
I wrote the letter below the jump as testimony to the importance of bicycle transportation in achieving the plan’s economic goals. It’s not exactly smooth reading — it’s long, and responds to a list of questions that don’t really lend themselves to a narrative arc. But hopefully it will help some of you who are also in a position of making the economic case for bicycling. I’m putting this in the public domain — please feel free to modify, improve, and use any parts of this post for promoting bicycling in whatever way you need to, no attribution necessary. This is how the world wins!
Read Elly’s letter here and be sure to submit your comment by the December 28th deadline. According to the website, here is how to comment:
• Attend a PSC hearing
• Send an email
• Send a letter
Many folks are shy about calling in safety problems at the city. People skirt the same potholes on their bikes year after year, deal with blind corners while turning onto busy streets, and have trouble walking across streets to get to transit.
Even people that never leave home often have to deal with people speeding by their houses all day long.
Just a reminder — the city requests that we let them know what we want. Here’s a few screenshots from the Portland Bureau of Transportation.. They have a rotating slide show on the front page that illustrates the many ways they invite citizens to participate in maintaining and upgrading active transportation facilities.
Be a participant in your transportation system. Call or email your wishes today.
Have a favorite pothole? Call it in.
Are people going too fast on your street? PBOT can help.
Have a burned out street light?
Tired of locking your bike to lampposts and phone poles? Press 3…