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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

PBOT Lunch and Learn - previous sessions

PBOT Lunch and Learn upcoming sessions - click here

Friday, April 24th, 2020

A No-Crash Course in Vision Zero DataMap of Portland with high-crash streets bold

presented by Anamaria Perez, Vision Zero Data Analyst, Portland Bureau of Transportation

Vision Zero was adopted unanimously by Portland City Council in 2015 with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries on Portland streets in a way that is equitable, accountable, and data-driven. But what does it mean to be data-driven? And should we stop there?

In this presentation, learn how Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan was developed and how the Vision Zero team is using data to move into a future where all Portlanders can travel safely, regardless of the travel mode they use. Explore the datasets used in Vision Zero implementation and the challenges that come with them. Learn about the projects where creativity and innovation play a critical role by stretching beyond what is traditionally thought of as transportation safety, including automated enforcement and citywide crash analysis.

To find the archived slides and video of tthe webinar, click here.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Our Young People and the Gateway to Opportunity 

Children playing at Gateway Discovery Park with bikes in backgroundPresented by Jonnie Ling, Community Cycling Center

Portland was one of 10 cities chosen to participate in the Big Jump Project of People for Bikes, with efforts focused in the Gateway District.  In addition to several bikeway projects, PBOT arranged for an education component.

The Community Cycling Center has been working with youth through the "Big Jump: Gateway to Opportunity" project. This session discussed an exploratory educational model and the ways the project can increase accessibility and opportunity for the youth living and learning in the Gateway neighborhoods.

About the Presenter:   Jonnie Ling is the Director of Programs and Enterprise at the Community Cycling Center. He as been with the organization for 11 years. He has worked in bicycle education since 2003 and is committed to working with the community to create a more equitable and multicultural approach to bicycle education.

Click here to watch online.

Friday, July 26, 2019

SW Madison Street with 2 car lanes & bike/bus laneEnhanced Transit Corridors in Portland’s Central City 

Presented by Gabe Graff, Portland Bureau of Transportation, and Kelly Betteridge, TriMet

Over the past two years, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and TriMet have joined forces to identify, design and build capital and operational treatments to help buses move more quickly and reliably through Portland’s increasingly congested Central City. Already the densest concentration of people and jobs in Oregon, Portland’s Central City is growing fast and increasing the speed and reliability of transit is key to achieving our City and region’s transportation, climate and livability goals. 

Working in partnership on PBOT’s Central City in Motion plan and TriMet and Metro’s Enhanced Transit Corridor program, the two agencies have identified a series of bus lanes in the Central City that will make transit faster and more reliable throughout the region. Project staff discuss how projects were identified and trade-offs weighed, discuss the benefits to transit riders and the region including benefits for our climate goals, and share the most recent designs, with a focus on the approaches to the Hawthorne, Steel and Burnside bridges.

Gabe Graff is the Central City Capital Delivery team manager for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, leading the Central City in Motion effort. He previously managed the Bureau’s safety programs, including High Crash Corridors and Safe Routes to School

Kelly Betteridge has been with TriMet for 14 years and serves as Program Manager of the Southwest Corridor project. Prior to her current position she served as the Manager of Capital Planning, overseeing the agency’s bus speed and reliability program and early transit corridor development. 

Read more / download the slides / watch online.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Picture of newly paved road, unpaved in foregroundMaking the Seemingly Impossible Project Real through Local Improvement Districts

Presented by Andrew Aebi, Portland Bureau of Transportation

The planning process identifies community needs but often needs the creative use of financial leverage to make those projects a reality on the ground.  Timing is important on LIDs, and the window of opportunity is often short.

For Portland's Bureau of Transportation, managing the public's desire for streets in good condition with room to walk and bike safely and accommodating freight movement and population growth can be a tall order.  Add in the need to work with water, sewer and underground utilities, and things get complicated.

When needs exceed resources, smart strategies can help fill the gap. Andrew Aebi, Portland’s LID Administrator, discusses four LID projects which will provide better walking and biking options for residents, improve infrastructure, and support smart land use for Portland's growing population.  Most importantly, he describes how creative problem-solving and careful negotiation can successfully achieve commitments to fund the projects and improve neighborhoods.

Andrew Aebi is a Capital Projects Manager with the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the City of Portland Local Improvement District (LID) Administrator

Click here to read more / download the slides / watch online

Friday, March 15, 2019

PedPDX: Addressing Equity through Citywide Pedestrian PlanningGraphic: PedPDX, Portland's Citywide pedestrian plan

Presented by Michelle Marx and Frncesca Patricolo, Portland Bureau of Transportation

Pedestrian safety and access is an equity issue. In Portland, inadequate pedestrian infrastructure and traffic safety concerns disproportionately impact low-income communities and people of color. The City is attempting to rectify these inequities through PedPDX, Portland’s new citywide pedestrian plan (anticipated for adoption in Spring 2019). PedPDX prioritizes sidewalk and crossing improvements and other investments, policies, strategies and tools to make walking safer and more comfortable across the city.

Learn about the strategies PedPDX is using to address transportation equity in Portland, including establishing a data-based prioritization for citywide pedestrian investments, identifying roadway and behavioral characteristics most closely correlated with pedestrian crashes in order to prioritize needs before crashes happen, using pro-active outreach to engage disproportionately impacted residents, and applying innovative pedestrian design and policies to address pedestrian infrastructure needs.

Michelle Marx is the City of Portland’s Pedestrian Coordinator with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT).

Francesca Patricolo is a Planner in the Policy Innovation and Regional Collaboration section of the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Click here to read more / download the slides / watch online

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Portland E-Scooter ExperienceGraphic: Person with one foot on an e-scooter

Presented by Briana Orr, Portland Bureau of Transportation, John MacArthur and Dr. Jennifer Dill, TREC at Portland State University

Portland's E-Scooter Pilot made national news for its proactive and data-driven approach to exploring the role of e-scooters in our transportation system. One of the first cities to implement a comprehensive data sharing agreement with e-scooter providers, Portland now has a lot of findings to share. This Friday Seminar dives into both the data collected and the experiences of Portlanders during the pilot. Presenters discuss what worked well, unexpected findings, and considerations for future new mobility pilots.  Download the E-Scooter Findings Report (released Jan 2019) here.

Briana Orr is the E-Scooter Pilot Project Manager and Bike Share Coordinator at the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

John MacArthur is the Sustainable Transportation Program Manager for the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University.

Click here to read more / download the slides / watch online



Note: audio recordings and pdf files of slides are available for most of the talks listed below.  If no link is listed, contact Timo Forsberg (timo.forsberg [at] portlandoregon [dot] gov). 

Bikeway sharrow decorated with Kermit the FrogThursday, November 15, 2018

Transforming Northwest Portland

Presented by Nicole Peirce, Capitol Project Manager, Scott Cohen, Capitol Project Manager, Zef Wagner, Transportation Planner

As quadrants go, Northwest Portland is like the sun – dense, shiny and hard for people to bike through.  But not for long!   Our speakers will cover :

  • the NW 20s Neighborhood Greenway;
  • the NW Flanders Bridge & Neighborhood Greenway;  
  • the NW in Motion initiative;
  • the extension of TriMet Line 24; and
  • other projects in progress.

View the slides for the NW Flanders Neighborhood Greenway and Bridge 

View the slides for the NW in Motion effort


Thursday, September 20,2018 

Updating Portland's Bike Parking Codeexamples of various styles of bike parking

presented by Sarah Figliozzi and Liz Hormann

End-of-trip facilities, like bicycle parking, are a key component to support the use of bicycles for transportation. The Portland Bicycle Plan calls for bicycling to account for 25 percent of all trips by 2030.  Data shows that people are significantly less likely to use a bicycle if they don’t have a safe place to lock it at the end of their trip.   

Yet Portland’s bicycle parking code hasn’t been updated in 20 years. With changes in technology, design and the way people get around town over the past two decades, it’s time for a refresh. You can review the Discussion Draft of the Bicycle Parking Code Update Project and provide your feed back via the  Bicycle Code Online Survey (the comment period is open through Oct. 1, 2018).  And you can also see and hear project staff's presentation and answers to questions in the files linked below.

download the audio (.wma file) 

download the slides (.pdf file)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Central City in MotionMap of streets for potential projects

presented by Gabe Graff, Capital Project Manager

Portland’s Central City is growing. Already home to the densest concentration of people and jobs in Oregon, our Central City is expected to have an additional 51,000 new jobs and 38,000 new households by 2035. We can’t make Central City streets wider, but we can retool them to be more efficient.

The Central City in Motion project is PBOT’s effort to facilitate all the new trips this growth will bring. Building off the Central City 2035 plan, the project will provide a roadmap for the next 5-10 years of investments in bus lanes, low stress and protected bikeways, and safer crossings. In June, thousands of Portlanders weighed in on a host of proposed bus lanes, bike lanes, and pedestrian crossings at Gabe talked about what staff has heard to date, which projects are rising to the top, and how to get involved.

download the audio (.wma file) 

download the slides (.pdf file)

Thursday, May 17, 2018 

Portland's Protected Bike Lane Manualparking protected bike lane on Kinzie St, Chicago

presented by Roger Geller,  Bicycle Coordinator - City of Portland Bureau of Transportation

Portland has ambitious goals for increasing the number of trips made by bike.  But we still have a transportation system built primarily for motor vehicles.

What would it take to reconfigure Portland’s streets to communicate that bicycling is more attractive than driving and that bicycle transportation is accessible to people of all ages and abilities? How can it be done quickly, broadly and affordably? What will be the impacts to on-street parking and other curb access needs?

To help answer these questions Portland is developing a Protected Bicycle Lane Design Guide.  In this session Roger Geller, Portland’s Bicycle Coordinator, discussed what’s in the guide and how it will help achieve our vision of a livable community.

download the audio (.wma file) 

download the slides (.pdf file)

This session was co-hosted by PSU Bike Hub.


Thursday, November 16

photo of bicycle parking code documentsBicycle Parking Code Update

Presented by Sarah Figliozzi and Liz Hormann

PBOT is reviewing the Bicycle Parking Title 33 code requirements. A stakeholder advisory committee has been meeting since February 2016 and is getting close to finalizing their set of recommendations for the code update, based on best practices from other cities, current practice from developers in Portland, and with an eye to the City's active transportation goals.

The City of Portland envisions a vibrant city, where 25 percent of all trips are made using a bicycle. To reach this goal, the City will need to build a connected and safe network of bicycle infrastructure. However, the journey does not end when someone riding a bicycle leaves the road. End-of-trip facilities, including a place to safely and securely park a bicycle, are a key component of creating an attractive and functional bicycling network.

The current Bicycle Parking code requirements were largely written and adopted 20 years ago. Since then the share of people biking to work in Portland has quadrupled - from 1.2 percent to just over 7 percent, bicycle sizes have become more diverse (including cargo bikes and e-bikes), and bicycle security concerns have increased.

Learn about the code changes recommended to meet Portlanders' current and future needs for travel by bike:

download the audio (.wma file) 

download the slides (.pdf file)

Thursday, September 21

artist rendering of Green Loop streetscapeThe Green Loop:  A Place for Everyone in the Heart of the City

Presented by City of Portland’s Urban Design Studio

The Green Loop, a bold new concept of the Central City 2035 plan, envisions a linear park that connects people to places within and beyond Portland’s downtown neighborhoods and to the Willamette River.  

The Green Loop is for people – a welcoming space for 8 to 80 year old riders and accommodating all abilities.  As Portland’s population continues to grow, our roads and freeways will carry even more traffic.  We need reliable and safe ways to move people in and out of the urban core.

Thursday, July 20

Orange BIKETOWN bikeBIKETOWN for All

Presented by Ira Dixon, Programs Manager, Community Cycling Center

BIKETOWN is Portland’s new bike share, and BIKETOWN for All is the reduced-cost membership plan for Portlanders living with low-incomes.

BIKETOWN for All is a partnership between the Community Cycling Center (CCC), the Portland Bureau of TransportationMotivatePortland Parks and Recreation, the Better Bike Share Partnership and participating affordable housing communities, social service agencies and local nonprofits.

Memberships are $3 a month with no annual contract. Members will also have the opportunity to earn $1 credits for each off-station BIKETOWN bike they return to a station hub. Memberships are earned by participating in a bike safety education workshop.


Thursday, May 18

Vision Zero and the Equity Lens

Presented by  Clay Veka, Vision Zero Action Plan project manager, PBOT Active Transportation and Safety Division

Vision Zero aims to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on our streets, and Portland has committed to doing so in a way that supports traditionally under-served communities.  This presentation by Vision Zero Action Plan project manager Clay Veka outlined how Portland has woven a strong commitment to equity into the development and implementation of the Plan.

Thursday, March 16 

Map of planned bikeways in Gateway districtThe Big Jump: Portland’s effort to triple bike ridership in Gateway by 2019

Presented by Timur Ender, JD, Special Projects Manager,PBOT Active Transportation and Safety Division

Portland was recently selected as 1 of 10 focus cities with the goal of developing best practices for bikeway network design.  This nationwide competition sponsored by People for Bikes is called the “Big Jump Project”.  

Portland’s proposal, titled “Gateway to Opportunity” focuses on tripling bicycle ridership in the Gateway District by combining infrastructure investment with direct outreach to residents.  This presentation, with a lively question-and-answer period, explored how we plan to increase ridership in Gateway and discussed what actions PBOT could take over the next few years to leverage this investment.

Read more about the Gateway to Opportunity in this People for Bikes post.

Thursday, January 19

How the Portland Tram Transformed Biking

Portland Tram rises over Go By Bike valet parkingPresented by

Art Pearce, PBOT Policy, Planning and Projects Manager,

John Landolfe, OHSU Transportation Options Coordinator and 

Kiel Johnson, owner, Go By Bike

For the Tram’s tenth birthday we look back at how SW Moody and Gibbs became the ­­premier active transportation intersection in North America, and offer visions of how it will become more active in years to come.  

Art, John and Kiel had a fun, wide-ranging conversation exploring how biking became central to this globally-recognized landmark.



Thursday, November 17

pictures of different bikeshare bikesThe Next Big Things in Bikeshare 

presented by Steve Hoyt-McBeth, Bikeshare Project Manager, PBOT, with Sarah Goforth, PBOT Active Transportation and Safety Division, Operations Group

BIKETOWN staff just returned from the bikeshare industry's annual conference, hosted by the North American Bikeshare Association. Come learn about exciting bikeshare trends on technology, equity, and outreach. Will these trends help bring new people to biking? What could it could mean for Portland?

This talk was co-hosted by Portland State University Transportation and Parking Services.

Thursday, September 15

Help us make getting around Portland's Central City easier as it grows

The Central City Multimodal Project 

presented by Gabe Graff, Capital Project Manager, PBOT and Mauricio Leclerc, Senior Planner, PBOT

The Central City Multimodal Project seeks to make it easier to bike, walk and access transit in the Central City as it grows. Learn about the project, the Central City 2035 plan which serves as its backbone, and progress to date.

Take the early-input survey to help us learn how people travel around the Central City and ways we can improve it. Your feedback will help to guide our planning work for the project. Thank you for taking the time!  One lucky winner will receive their choice of a one-month TriMet pass, a one-year BikeTown membership, or $100 worth of SmartPark parking at a garage. 


Thurs, July 21:

The 2016 International Open Streets Summit, Aug. 18-21, 2016Opening Portland's Streets - Local Innovation and International Connections

presented by 

Linda Ginenthal, Programs Manager, PBOT Active Transportation and Safety Division;

Noel Mickelberry, Executive Director, Oregon Walks; and 

Gwen Shaw, Volunteeer with Better Block PDX and Transportation Analyst, Lancaster Engineering 

Portland's street network is the largest publically-owned open space in the city.  Since the founding of the city people used this space for movement, commerce, recreation and community connection.  Sometime in the first half of the 20th century, however, policy and perceptions shifted to prioritize the space almost exclusively for movement and storage of motor vehicles. 

In the 21st century the City and its residents are looking to support a healthy balance of uses for our public right-of-way. This session covered experiments in tactical urbanism, Open Streets events and the International Open Streets Summit that Portland will host August 18th to 21st (register here).

Thurs, May 19:

A SmartTrips staffer delivers materials by bike.SmartTrips for New Movers: The Right Time for Behavior Change

Presented by Sarah Goforth, PBOT Active Transportation and Safety Division

Since 2014 Portland SmartTrips has provided active transportation information to over 73,000 new mover households. Capitalizing on an influential time when movers are already in a state of change, SmartTrips encourages new movers to consider all of their transportation options. As a result, program participants report they are walking, biking, and taking transit more than prior to moving. In fact, they’re driving 7% less for both commute and non-commute trips. Download the slides and audio for a rich storytelling event told through data, charts, and travel behavior analysis.  

Sarah Goforth works for PBOT on the Portland SmartTrips program. She is one of three bicycle delivery staffers and is also responsible for conducting travel surveys and data analysis, as well as overseeing the Active Transportation Ambassadors and outreach program.

Thurs, March 17:

Happy rider with a BIKETOWN bikeSpecial Bike Lunch and Learn: BIKETOWN Station Planning Open House

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) sought public feedback on the draft station map for our new bike share system, BIKETOWN. Five open houses were scheduled, including this one at the Bicycle Lunch and Learn.  You can find maps, the methodology for station site selection and other information presented at the Open House by clicking here.

About the system: BIKETOWN bikes will be available to ride from one point to another for a small fee. Although Portland’s ‘smart bike’ system will allow people to park anywhere within the service area for an additional fee, BIKETOWN stations will be the primary place where people can rent and return the bikes.

Thurs, January 21:

images of People traveling in PortlandUpdating Portland's Transportation System Plan

presented by Art Pearce, PBOT Transportation Policy, Planning and Projects Group Manager

Portland Bureau of Transportation is updating theTransportation System Plan (TSP), in coordination with the first update to the city's Comprehensive Plan in 25 years.  The plan will provide transportation options for residents, employees, visitors, and firms doing business in Portland, making it more convenient to walk, bike, take transit -- and drive less -- while meeting their daily needs. The TSP provides a balanced transportation system to support neighborhood livability and economic development. 

Not another dry presentation of a technical document, Art discussed how the TSP will help Portland maintain livability and sustainability as the city grows and evolves.

Art Pearce has worked for PBOT since 1998 and has been Group Manager of the Transportation Planning, Project Management and Active Transportation divisions since December 2013. The group takes transportation ideas from long-range planning and policy realms, through project development all the way to construction.


Thurs, November 19th:

Smarter Biking through Data with the Ride Report AppMap showing stress level of various bike routes

Presented by William Henderson

Ride Report is a new app that allows Portlanders to log their biking experiences and help improve bike infrastructure. The Ride Report app can detect when users are biking, and logs trips of any length automatically. It also lets users rate the trip with a single tap.

Ride Report is creating open source traffic and safety data that can be used to help other riders, as well as advocates and planners. Through an Innovation Fund grant, PBOT is partnering with Knock to promote the Ride app and pilot low-cost physical bike counters at locations throughout the City.  This talk explained how the app works and showed some of the early analytics tools Knock Software has created around the data.

William Henderson cofounded Knock Software, Inc in Portland, which created Ride Report after its success with the consumer security product Knock to Unlock. Prior to this, William led the team that created the Square payment app and worked on Mac and iPhone apps at Apple. He graduated from Reed College with a degree in Mathematics.

Thurs, September 17th: 

Concord Neighborhood GreenwayPortland's Neighborhood Greenway Assessment Report  

Presented by Margi Bradway & Roger Geller

For more than 30 years Neighborhood Greenways (formerly known as “bike boulevards”) have been providing great places for people to bike, walk, live, and play. But how have 30 years of traffic patterns, development, population growth, and engineering practices changed these bikeways and how people use them?

Portland’s Neighborhood Greenway Assessment Report is an in-depth look at how these important bicycle routes are functioning and how they could be improved. From pavement conditions to automobile speeds to street paintings, the report takes a broad look and proposes a number of changes for how the system should operate.

Margi Bradway, PBOT’s Active Transportation Division Manager, and Roger Geller, PBOT’s Bicycle Coordinator, presented key data points and conclusions from the report and answered questions from a very engaged audience.   

Thurs, July 16th: 

ABC logoAndando en Bicicletas en Cully: Bicycle Outreach to the Latin American Community  

Presented by Rosaisela Portugal & Lucia Llanos; translation by Lale Santelices

ABC's Mission is to unite the community with activities and events to spread awareness about the benefits of cycling. ABC also works to inform and support the community regarding pedestrian and cycling safety, and infrastructure issues.

Ms. Portugal and Ms. Llanos talked about the tools used to engage the Latin American community, actions to keep people motivated, and ABC's efforts to raise the visibility and voices of community members on issues of transportation safety and accessibility.


Thurs, June 18th:Middle schoolers walking to Robert Gray school

Safe Routes to Middle Schools 

Presented by Janis McDonald & Taylor Sutton

Portland's Safe Routes to School program has expanded its offerings to older students. Middle school is an important time to foster independence in children while maintaining and strengthening active transportation habits formed during elementary school years. 
PBOT's Safe Routes staff members Janis McDonald and Taylor Sutton shared the joys, opportunities and challenges of working with middle schoolers. Check the slides for great charts and data about travel behavior and information on what was learned in working with 6 to 8th graders.  

Thurs, May 21st: 

ORbike logoORcycle - Capturing Real-Life Trip Data to Improve Biking  

Presented by Miguel Figliozzi, Ph.D

ORcycle is a smartphone app designed to provide feedback about bicycle routes, infrastructure and crashes/accidents. 

The Oregon Department of Transportation collects some bicycle/pedestrian data, but the quality and quantity of bicycle data are not as abundant as the data collected for motor vehicles. In particular, there is scant information regarding bicyclist routes (origin-destination) and the perception of users regarding the adequacy of existing bicycle facilities. A smartphone app can be used to collect new and better cyclist data in a cost-effective way.

Dr. Figliozzi presented on the development of the app and some preliminary results that have been collected.



Map of suggested sidewalk and crossing improvements

Thurs, April 16th:  

Prioritize Portland survey - results from East Portland

Presented by David Hampsten, East Portland Action Plan

In May 2014, members of the East Portland Action Plan sent a survey to all East Portland addresses with questions related to transportation and parks use.  The intent of the survey was to gather information, but also to get neighbors to talk with each other and prioritize public infrastructure. The results are in, with a few surprises.  David reported on how residents define the needs for their communities and what this means for improving biking and walking in East Portland.



Thursday, March 19th:

Women who biked to the top - of Rocky ButtePortland Before Platinum – Four Women’s Stories

Featuring Anndy Wiselogle, Barb Grover, Jessica Roberts and Mia Birk

Before Portland talked about being a world-class city for bicycles; before we were concerned about the “interested but concerned”; before there were Women Bike, Women on Wheels or CycloFemme, there were women working to make our city better for biking.

“Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” is the theme for National Women’s History Month 2015. The Bicycle Lunch and Learn was honored to have four women who pioneered in bike activism, industry, advocacy and policy tell their stories.  This session featured lots of great Portland history including: the story of the first Neighborhood Greenway (Bike Boulevards, we called them back then) - instigated by neighborhood activists; life as "that one guy on a bike" and one of a handful of women bike shop managers in the country; what it took to do bike outreach in the 90s (slide projector? check); and how the prevalence of women in Portland's bike scene helped the city achieve so much.  

End of Walk sign as sidewalk ends too soon

Thursday, February 19th:

ODOT Region 1 Active Transportation Needs Inventory

presented by Jessica Horning, ODOT Region 1 Transit and Active Transportation Liaison, and Karla Kingsley, Kittelson & Associates

Less than half of ODOT's highways in urban areas currently have sidewalks and bike lanes.  The Oregon Transportation Plan sets a goal of completing the state biking and walking network by 2030, but adequate funding is not available to meet this target.  ODOT Region 1 is developing an Active Transportation Needs Inventory to assess gaps in the existing system and strategically identify future projects that provide the greatest benefits for all users.

Find out more about this project at the webpage.

See a write-up of this presentation on


Bike parking at UC Davis, photo by Ansel AdamsThursday, January 15th:

Davis, CA: Bicycle stardom and recovery from post-Platinum Blues

Presented by Ted Buehler

The town of Davis, California has a complex story of successes and failures in its 50 years of efforts to build a city for bicycles. From a bicycle paradise in the 1970s to a fading star in the 2000s, to a current resurgence in bicycling and advocacy.

In this talk Ted describes the history and analyzes how advocacy, policy, politics and engineering interacted to shape successes and failures over time.

Ted wrote his masters thesis on the history of bicycle advocacy in Davis in 2007 and was the founder of the advocacy group "Davis Bicycles!" A summary of his thesis is available at .   He is currently a volunteer with BikeLoudPDX.

[photo credit: Ansel Adams/UCR CMP Fiat Lux Collection]


Thursday, November 20th:

Bike, Walk, Bus and Train logoAvenues to Advocacy

Presented by  Lillian Karabaic, Community Cycling Center Development Coordinator

There are big barriers to taking one's first step into the world of transportation advocacy. People whose voices most need to be heard often experience significant obstacles to advocacy just because the process can be so obscure. Mychal Tetteh, CEO of the Community Cycling Center, described this problem in last November's Lunch and Learn.

The Community Cycling Center worked to figure out what it would take to demystify transportation funding, budgets, and processes so that anyone can participate.  Together with volunteers from Code for Portland, they built a tool that makes make city budgets, citizen reporting, and community meetings accessible to people from all backgrounds.  For a look at the creative process, read the CCC's blog post about the volunteer Hackathon to develop the tool.

Lillian's presentation gave a sneak peek at "Avenues to Advocacy" before its release in 2015.   

Thursday, October 16th:

Margi Bradway, Art Pearce & a transportation poemActively Moving Portland into the Future

A conversation with 

Art Pearce, PBOT Transportation Policy, Planning and Projects Group Manager and

Margi Bradway, PBOT Active Transportation Division Manager

The Active Transportation Division recently received new leadership and a new place in the Bureau of Transportation.  

Margi Bradway and Art Pearce had a discussion about their vision - and that of audience members - on how to create a transportation system that promotes livability and sustainability as well as mobility.

Little boy holding up four fingersThursday, September 18th:

Portland - Are We Really # 4?

A panel discussion including:

Roger Geller, Bicycle Coordinator, City of Portland;  Jessica Roberts, Principal and Programs Manager, ALTA Planning; Rob Sadowsky, Executive Director, Bicycle Transportation Alliance

Moderated by Michael Anderson, News Editor,

Portland, it has been reported, is no longer at the top of Bicycling Magazine's rankings for bike-friendly cities.  Didn't even make podium.  This after many years of being the # 1 pick and after being the first large city to achieve the Platinum-level ranking for Bicycle Friendly Communities by the League of American Bicyclists.

Is it true? Is Portland behind New York, Chicago and Minneapolis? And if yes, how should we respond?  During this hour-plus long session several of the Rose City's deep thinkers on bicycling pondered these questions - and came up with some fascinating answers.

[photo credit:]

Thursday, August 21st:

People biking, walking and jogging on the WaterfrontActivate the Waterfront

presented by  Andrew Yaden,

Project Manager, Watermark Planning; Master of Urban and Regional Planning, Portland State University

Riding the Willamette waterfront is one of Portland's signature joys.  But despite longstanding ambitions, we have a ways to go towards embracing the Willamette River as the heart of the central city.

Replacing an expressway with Waterfront Park and improving the river’s environmental quality are major successes. But park visitors have few opportunities to engage directly with the river and the downtown waterfront lacks vibrancy, due to difficult connections to the central business district, neighborhoods and the eastside.

Listen to the audio for  "Activate the Waterfront," a set of strategies and recommendations to enliven Tom McCall Waterfront Park – and preserve the joy.  

View a draft vision for the Willamette Central Reach from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability 

Read more about planning for the Central Reach here

Photo credit: Greg Raisman

Thursday, July 17th:

Bicyclist with facemask in trafficPollution Uptake Measurements for Bicyclists in Portland

presented by Alex Bigazzi


We know that bicycling provides many health benefits.  However, some have wondered if riding near vehicle emissions reduces the beneficial effects.

This presentation reviews the latest PSU research quantifying bicyclists' uptake of traffic-related air pollution using on-road measurements in Portland. The research team including Dr. James Pankow and Dr. Miguel Figliozzi has quantified exposure on different types of roadways, respiration responses to exertion level, and changes in blood concentrations after riding.   Implications for riders, planners, and policy-makers are discussed.

Alex Bigazzi is a doctoral candidate in Transportation Engineering at Portland State University, whose dissertation is entitled "Bicyclists' Uptake of Traffic-Related Air Pollution: Impacts of the Urban Transportation System". also has a great summary of some of the talk's key points.

[photo credit: Bill McNeal/Flickr (cropped)]

Thursday, June 19:  

Heat map of crosswalks in Portland

Prioritize Portland! - A Geo-Survey of Active Transportation Needs in East Portland and Cully

presented by David Hampsten, East Portland Action Plan Bike Subcommittee

Imagine: the City has told your neighborhood association or community group it wants to build $8 million dollars’ worth of new sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and bikeways. Where should they go? What are your residents' priorities? As a community group made up of already-overwhelmed, unpaid volunteers, how do you react? In Portland, this happens every few years to neighborhoods across the city.

Prioritize Portland! is a consortium of individual activists, community organizations, and social non-profits assembling a set of tools to help neighborhoods and community groups respond to such situations, in a timely manner, with prioritized project lists that planners and engineers can use. The tools are designed to be free and web-based; their use will be controlled and modified by the community volunteers themselves.

Prioritize Portland! is at the mid-point of a two-year project to develop and test some of these tools, as part of a "needs assessment" for active transportation infrastructure improvements for East Portland and Cully residents. Both communities are active partners in this project and neighborhoods want additional input from their residents on what the next set of priorities should be.

This presentation offered an overview of the project, its purpose, and a bit of its history. Preliminary results from the current Prioritize Portland! geo-survey (recently featured in Bike Portland) were presented, as well as how the survey data will be used for upcoming neighborhood workshops in the fall.

Thursday, May 15:  

People on foot and on bike by Tilikum CrossingBikeway Improvements of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project

presented by Teresa Boyle, PBOT Development Services & Capital Program

It has been described as "Portland's biggest bike project ever."  The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail (PMLR) project will bring $40 million in biking and walking improvements to the area.  In addition to the first Willamette bridge devoted to active transportation, new connections on the east and west side of the river will help people travel on bike, on foot, and of course on transit.

Teresa Boyle, PBOT's project manager in charge of coordinating with TriMet for this project, filled us in on the project's multi-modal focus and the new bikeways we'll enjoy once the project is complete.



Thursday, April 17:  

Kids walking to schoolEquity Efforts of Safe Routes to School

Presented by Carolina Iraheta Gonzalez, PBOT Safe Routes to School

Is your organization trying to incorporate an equity lens into its work?  Do your decision-makers struggle with how to include this priority?  

The City of Portland’s Safe Routes to School program operated for over 6 years without formal equity policies.  Some community members raised concerns about how SRTS allocated services and prioritized schools.

In 2011, Safe Routes worked with community stakeholders to create policy around equitable service delivery.  Now this policy guides the program in selecting schools to receive infrastructure projects, education services and encouragement initiatives. The policy will guide how Safe Routes allocates funds in the future, including $5 million from Portland Public Schools over the next 7 years. 

This workshop shared how one City program created equitable policies which prioritize schools serving mainly low-income and students of color populations. Learn about the Safe Routes prioritization matrix, a tool used to assess and prioritize schools in Portland.  

Thursday, March 20:

3 women at the 2013 National Women's Bike ForumWomen Biking for Change: Two Perspectives from the National Women's Bicycle Forum

 presented by Elizabeth Williams & Janis McDonald

Celebrate Women’s History Month and learn about this year’s National Women’s Bicycling Forum. Find out what happens when hundreds of women from all over the country come together to connect, inspire, inform and develop new leaders, with the goal of getting more women on bikes.

Presented by Elizabeth Williams, bike advocate and a member of the League of American Bicyclists’ Equity Advisory Council, and Janis McDonald, staff member of PBOT’s Active Transportation Division and an organizer of Portland Sunday Parkways, Women on Wheels and Cyclofemme PDX.

If you didn't make it to Washington, D.C. on March 3rd, here are some stories to get the flavor of the event:

- The ever-informative Streetfilms posted a 6 minute summary of the Forum and Nat'l Bike Summit.

- Carolyn Szczepanski, key organizer of the Forum, discussed why it's an important event.

- Carolyn's post was in part a response to this post by Portland's own Elly Blue.

- And Streetsblog posted a not-very-Portland take on the conversation about women and biking.

- Here's a Twitter recap by February Lunch-and-Learn presenter, Steph Routh.

Thursday, February 20:

Steph Routh on a cargo bikeFrom U-Haul to You Haul:  How to Move by Bike

presented by Steph Routh

Moving to a new home is often considered one of life's top 10 most stressful events, but it doesn't have to be! Add bikes, have fun. Bike moves transform a task traditionally filled with untold drudgery into a stuff parade and a housewarming party. Moving by bike has become a growing movement. In this hour Steph Routh, who has participated in 68 bike moves to date, explores this joyous approach to life change in a way that builds community and helps broaden our perspective of what's possible.
Steph Routh is author of the book "How to Move by Bike" and the Mayor of Hopscotch Town, a consulting and small publishing firm that inspires and celebrates fun, lovable places for everyone. You can find her on the web at and follow her on Twitter @stephrouth

->  See the bike move video Steph references by clicking here.   <-


Thursday, January 16, 2014:

Rex Burkholder and friend at Lima Ciclovia eventCiclovias Recreativas Mundiales - How the Rest of the World Does Sunday Parkways

presented by Rex Burkholder

Ciclovias are growing rapidly in Latin America, with over 400 cities opening their streets every Sunday to people on foot, on skates and on bikes. Up to a million people ride in Bogota's Ciclovia every week. What do they know that we don't?

Presented by Rex Burkholder, Honorary Ambassador of the Network of Ciclovias Recreativas (CRA) since 2007. A founder of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, ex-Metro Councilor and community activist, Rex shared the triumphs and challenges of transforming cities into people-friendly places in Latin America. His website is where he writes on issues of sustainability, cycling and hope.  Check out this blog post for a bit of ciclovias flavor, Peruvian-style.


Thursday, November 21:

Mychal Tetteh riding with friends

Developing the Infrastructure of Active Transportation Advocacy

presented by Mychal Tetteh, CEO of the Community Cycling Center 

In his first 30 days as the CEO of the Community Cycling Center, Mychal Tetteh had the opportunity to connect with public engagement professionals, community leaders, city planners, transportation experts, and everyday people who all share a common question: How can I be a more effective active transportation advocate?

In this talk Mychal shared what he has found out about the gaps in our advocacy network and talked about how to continue a campaign to crowd-source solutions and shape the evolution of active transportation advocacy in the City of Portland.

A social entrepreneur and active transportation advocate, Mychal returned to the Community Cycling Center as their new CEO in September, having served the organization as the Operations Director of the bike shop for over 5 years. He left the Cycling Center in 2011 to help ensure the successful launch of the Village Market in New Columbia. He is the founder of the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Portland and a member of the City Club of Portland's Bicycle Transportation Advocacy Committee

Read a write-up of Mychal's talk on the Community Cycling Center webpage and on

Thursday, October 17 :

Adonia LugoLessons from L.A.  -  Recognizing, Supporting and Celebrating Diversity in Bicycle Culture

presented by Adonia Lugo, Ph. D.

Yes, L.A. has a head start on Portland in the realm of diverse bicycle culture. But a tour of St. Johns or East Portland will reveal the variety of people riding bikes here. As we work to encourage everyone who wants to use a bike for transportation to do so are we missing the “ Invisible Riders” ?
Adonia Lugo drew on her experiences at Ciudad de Luces (now Multicultural Communities for Mobility) and CicLAvia, as well as her academic work, to address this topic.

A cultural anthropologist and activist, Dr. Lugo  blogs at about her carfree adventures as a Chicana woman and the belief our cities can be socially just and ecologically sustainable. In Los Angeles, she co-founded CicLAvia and City of Lights/ Ciudad de Luces (now Multicultural Communities for Mobility).

Shortly after presenting at the Bike Brown Bag Dr. Lugo was hired by the League of American Bicyclists to be their Equity Initiative Manager.

Click here to read a short question-and-answer with Dr. Lugo on the Active Transportation Newsfeed.

  Here is the link to the CicLAvia video that Adonia showed during the presentation.

Thursday, September 19: 

Michael Andersen The National Bike Blogging Explosion

Presented by Michael Anderson, News editor,; Editor, blog

Portland didn't just show the country that bike-friendliness was possible in a big U.S. city -- it showed the country that bike-friendly media are essential to biking's growth. Following up on the Green Lane Project's Sept. 16-18 summit in Portland, Michael Andersen of and shared the latest practices from Seattle, San Diego, Saint Louis and other cities where independent journalists are following BikePortland's lead (and discovering new tricks of their own).  Several local bloggers attended the session, enlivening the conversation in the second half of the hour.



Map of Metro Region by Bikeway Comfort LevelThursday, August 15th:

The Regional Active Transportation Plan

Presented by Lake Strongheart McTighe, Active Transportation Project Manager, Metro
This presentation covered the effort to create a regional network of pedestrian and bicycle investments that can increase access to public transit, improve public health, increase energy independence and create walkable and bikeable neighborhoods.   To see a draft of the plan, click here.

kids fixing bikes at New ColumbiaThursday, July 18th:

How one community transformed a vacant lot into a healthy, active space for bicycles - the Community Cycling Center / New Columbia partnership

Presented by Anne F. Lee, Interim Executive Director, Community Cycling Center

Beginning with the Understanding Barriers to Bicycling Report in 2009, the Community Cycling Center collaborated with community leaders in New Columbia to broaden access to bicycling and its benefits. In 2012, the Bike Repair Hub opened, turning what was once a vacant lot into a community resource for affordable bike repair, bike safety education, and a meeting spot for summertime bike rides. This year, the new Bike Skills Park is underway. Anne Lee spoke about the latest project and plans for the future. did a great write-up of this talk.  And the CCC has a great update about the Skills Park.  



Bike Valet at Portland Tram / OHSUThursday, June 20th:

How to Turn Bike Parking into Gold

Presented by John Landolfe, Oregon Health & Science University

Even with theft trending down, over a million dollars' worth of bikes were reported stolen in Portland last year.  Does this epidemic show a need to improve bike parking?

As Portland’s largest employer, Oregon Health & Science University parks a lot of bikes.  And the OHSU Bike Program does more than parking. Learn about cash incentives, a stat-tracking website, insurance reductions, repair, loaner bikes, secure facilities, free tubes, discount helmets, bike valet and more. Together, these amenities helped OHSU become the largest company to ever win the Bicycle Friendly Business award at a rank of Gold or higher. If there’s a strategy you’re curious about, chances are OHSU has tried it.  

Thursday, May 16th:

Bike to PSU Challenge logoYou Too Can Host a Bike Challenge!

Presented by Ian Stude, PSU Transportation Options Manager, and Clint Culpepper, PSU Bike Hub Supervisor

Portland State University attracts thousands of daily visits to a dense, parking-deficient section of the city.
Ian and Clint shared their experience in organizing the Bike to PSU Challenge, whose participants logged over 125,000 miles in May 2012. What are the benefits of encouraging your students, coworkers or staff to commute by bike? How can your company or school achieve similar results?

Thursday, April 18th:

High Crash Corridors and Neighborhood Solutions

Presented by Clay Veka, PBOT High Crash Corridor Program; 

MaryLouise Ott, South Tabor Neighborhood Association; and

Paul Leistner, Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association

Fifty-nine percent of the region’s serious crashes occur on arterial roadways, which carry only 40% of vehicle travel. The Portland High Crash Corridor (HCC) program targets limited safety resources on 10 of Portland’s roadways with exceptional concentrations of crash activity. Roadway characteristics, crash types, and neighborhood needs are unique to each corridor, thus requiring unique solutions.

This presentation focused on the Division Street High Crash Corridor, with a focus on proposed improvements between SE 60th and 80th avenues– including reconfiguring the roadway from 4-lanes to 3-lanes, and adding bike lanes. Working with the Mount Tabor and South Tabor neighborhood associations, PBOT is responding to the long-standing request from these neighborhoods to improve safety and reduce severe crashes for all road users.

People on bikes on a neighborhood greenwayThursday, March 21st:

The Path Ahead for Active Transportation in Portland

Roger Geller, Portland's Bicycle Coordinator, presented a white paper analyzing data from the 2011 Oregon Household Activity Survey (OHAS).

The analysis is intended to answer two questions:

1) What have been the trends in transportation behavior for Portland residents 1994-2011?;  and

2) What does Portland need to do to achieve its policy goals related to transportation in general and bicycle transportation specifically?

 This analysis demonstrates a path to achieving the mode split goals identified in the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 if the city aggressively pursues them.


Turn of the century woman with bikeThursday, February 21st:

High-wheels and Hot Mamas  - Women, Bikes, and History

presented by April Streeter, author of Women on Wheels

Celebrating Women's History Month a little early! 

In this brown-bag lunch presentation April Streeter, author of Women on Wheels, gave us a short history of transportational bicycling from a woman's perspective, including some of the should-be famous female characters in early biking, plus a hearty helping of Portland bike culture's early history.


January 17th:

Map of Seattle's Neighborhood Greenway groupsSeattle's Path to Neighborhood Greenways

Presented by Cathy Tuttle,  Bob Edmiston & Eli Goldberg

Seattle is building neighborhood greenways! Inspired by Portland’s model, a rapidly growing grassroots coalition of hundreds of community members -- closely partnered with City leadership and staff -- has led to a comprehensive crowdsourced network map designed and rigorously field-tested by 19 volunteer neighborhood groups, and millions of dollars in funding.

Cathy, Bob and Eli shared the inspiring story of how a group of committed and engaged Seattle residents adapted Portland's vision for greenways, and offered a grassroots model for people in other cities to successfully bring a connected network of safe, healthy residential streets to their own communities.

You can watch a video of the presentation on Youtube - click here.

 Eavesdrop on Seattle's conversations here:


Highway made of money

December  5th:  How Will We Pay for Tomorrow's Roads?

Presented by James M. Whitty, Manager,  ODOT Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding 

As Oregonians make the switch to highly fuel efficient vehicles, the state's principal road funding mechanism--the fuel tax--will no longer raise sufficient revenue to maintain the system.  ODOT manager James Whitty presented Oregon's groundbreaking new approach to road funding--a charge on distance traveled--as a potential replacement for the fuel tax.

This talk was introduced by PBOT's Director, Tom Miller, who gave a brief synopsis of funding sources and challenges for Portland's transportation system.


Bicyclists in BrooklynNovember 15th:  

Confessions of a Traffic Engineer- The Misuse of Level of Service and its Impact on Active Transportation

presented by Peter Koonce, P.E., PBOT Division Manager of Signals, Street Lighting and ITS

This session described the challenge of traditional traffic engineering measures used in the industry and provided technical policy suggestions that would make active transportation more competetive in the community.

Technical difficulties prevented the recording of this talk, but never fear - Peter gave the presentation again at the PSU Transportation Seminar in January 2013.  You can stream the talk by clicking this link.  

Happy family on bikes

October 18th: 

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance's Blueprint for Better Biking: World Class Network.

Picture the safest, most accessible, and most forward-thinking bicycle oriented transportation system in the world.

Now imagine yourself in it, doing the things you normally do every day. When you go to work, what type of street do you take? How do your kids get to school? Think about going to the park with your family, talking a walk with your parents, going grocery shopping. What would it take to transform the neighborhood you live in, to make it truly world class for bikes?

Rob Sadowsky, Executive Director, and Gerik Kransky, Advocacy Director, of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance asked for the thoughts of attendees on building a world class network of bicycle facilities in the Portland region. The facilitated dialogue will help the BTA determine its priorities for the next five years.

  Read a recap of the session on   > <  or  >  < (with photos showing the lists of ideas).
Also mentioned in the discussion, The Intertwine Alliance Fall Summit (Thurs, Oct. 25th) .

people on bicycles shoppingSeptember 20th:  

The Economics of Bicycling - Mode Choice and Consumer Behavior

Does the choice to drive, bike, or walk affect how much we spend or how often we visit local businesses?  Should a restaurant owner care if it's easy to reach her bistro via active transportation?
Dr. Kelly Clifton, associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University  presented results from Clifton's recent study that aims to make connections between our travel choices and our consumer behavior.
Based upon a survey administered in the Portland metro area in the summer of 2011, the analysis examines the various influences on transportation mode choices to local restaurants. Similarly, patron spending and frequency of visits are also analyzed with respect to mode to better understand these complex relationships.
These findings are useful as communities around the country try to educate the business community about the potential impacts of investments in cycling, pedestrians and transit. 

August 16th: 

What I Saw at Velo-City

Velo-City Global logo

Velo-city Global bills itself as  "the world’s premier international cycling planning conference."  Take one look at the Conference Program and you'll see why.

Three intrepid PBOT staff members took their passports to Vancouver BC and came back with lots of new ideas about planning for and promoting bicycles as transportation. 
Presented by Roger Geller, City of Portland Bicycle Coordinator; Linda Ginenthal, Active Transportation Programs Manager; and Denver Igarta, Transportation Planner.
In his talk Roger makes reference to the Central City 2035 Concept Plan.  You can download a copy of the Concept Plan here.

July 19th: 

Mapping the Experience of Cycling

Heart Bike Map image by Debra C West

Many cyclists choose to travel by bike because it’s fun. However, existing bike maps don't talk about fun – they're dull, practical tools.  Google Maps, for example, shows distance and where to turn; it's hard to learn which roads have heavy exhaust fumes, where the funky houses are, or other rich details about the trip.   A trip planner that describes experience could encourage people to cycle more and could help cyclists enjoy their ride more.

This presentation describes research into the design of interactive digital maps that represent both the experience and logistics of urban bike trips. The presentation is in two parts: What maps can say about the experience of cycling, and how they can say it.

Presented by Evan Dickinson, an interaction designer and Master of Arts candidate at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. He's also one of the organizers of Velopalooza, a Pedalpalooza-like bike fun festival in Vancouver. 

[Image courtesy of Debra C West / ]


T-shirt design "More than one way to get there"

Thusday, June 21st :

Introducing the Active Transportation Division

 Internal reorganization within the City's Bureau of Transportation will bring together staff from several PBOT divisions with expertise in planning, designing, promoting and managing systems for human-powered travel. Hear Division Manager Dan Bower and Program Managers Linda Ginenthal, Gabe Graff, and Mark Lear talk about how these changes will affect Portland's progress toward being the nation's most livable city.  Read a summary of the talk on  


Cover photo of Cycling Sojourner book

May 17th: 

Cycling Sojourner - The Making of a Guide to Bike Touring in Oregon

Continuing our themes of cycle touring and books about bikes, a presentation from Ellee Thalheimer.

Cycling Sojourner is a complete guide to self-supported, multi-day cycle touring in Oregon, released in May 2012. Author Ellee Thalheimer shared true tales of rural bike touring in our beautiful state, inspiring attendees to travel by bike, and told the story of how this book, the only one of its kind currently in print, came to exist.

See a video of a shorter version of this presentation on the Crank My Chain! website (thanks to Dan Kaufman). [Introduction starts at 2:27, presentation starts at 7:30.]


April 19th: 


Neighborhood Greenways & Transportation Demand Management

Woman biking on a neighborhood greenway.

Scott Cohen of PBOT Transportation Options talked about Going to the River, a project which combines engineering enhancements with outreach and marketing to neighbors in the new Greenway’s bikeshed.  The project connects the current NE Going St. Neighborhood Greenway westward to Swan Island and includes improvements that create the N Michigan Neighborhood Greenway.

Click here to read more about the Going to the River project.

March 15th: 

Bike History in Oregon

A graphic representation of the first wave of bicycles in Oregon, written by Sarah Mirk and illustrated by Shawn Granton, published by the Dill Pickle Club

Captured in a 30-page book, a moment when bike ownership quintipled in 4 years (to one bike for every 10 county residents), about a time when a new shipment of bicycles was celebrated with a brass band, a time when rideable roads were paid for by the local chapter of the Wheelman.  And a time before women could vote, but when suffragist Susan B Anthony remarked,  “I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives her a feeling of freedom, self-reliance and independence.”

Read an interview with Shawn about the book on the Dill Pickle Club blog.

Special bonus – a dramatic reading from another book in the series, Dead Freeways.


A street for people on foot and on bike in EuropeFeb. 16th:  

What’s so great about world-class bicycling cities, anyway? 

PBOT planner, Denver Igarta, spent the month of November meeting with planners, advocates, urban designers and engineers in Munich (Germany), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Malmo (Sweden), on a fellowship sponsored by the German Marshall Fund. His presentation sheds light on a few things that distinguish these cities (with 17-36 percent bicycle mode shares) and what that means for Portland’s goal of achieving a quarter of all daily trips taken by bicycle.

Click here to read more about Denver's studies in Europe on his blog.

Jan. 19: 

Bike Tourism, Rural Communities, Historic Roads

A rural road for biking

Bike Tourism along Historic Roads – surefire development strategy for rural communities?  Heidi Beierle pedaled across the country exploring this question. She shared what she learned in this talk, describing a typology of bike tourists, and offering new ideas about where in Oregon to ride. 

For more on promoting bike touring and rural development check out this link from Adventure Cycling.  You can find a link to Heidi's report near the bottom of the page.



Thusday, Nov. 17th: 

Bike Train Lessons

Kiel Johnson gave a talk about his experiences organizing bike trains, group rides to school along prearranged routes. Last year he helped organize bike trains at 12 Portland schools, resulting in parents and children riding over 3,200 times.  Kiel, a 2011 winner of the BTA's Alice Awards, talked about his successes and struggles in building a bike train movement and how his experiences can be applied to other efforts to promote active transportation. 

Bike Brown Bag attendees enjoyed the world premier of the Bike Train Movie.


Thurs, Oct. 20th:  

East Portland in Motion - A Five-year Strategy for Active Transportation

Steven Szigethy talked about efforts to improve active transportation options - walking, biking and taking transit - in East Portland.

As a recent cover story in the Willamette Week describes, improvements are needed.

Sept. 15th:


Bill Beamer presented on PBOT's safety campaign, a community partnership that contributes to safe transportation in Portland.  The goal of the StreetSmart initiative is to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities by promoting traffic safety through smart, safe behavior.   This initiative brings together groups as diverse as the BTA, AAA-Oregon, the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition and the Oregon Trucking Associations

Bikes Mean Business logoAugust 18th:  

Bikes Mean Business

Encouraging bicycling at the workplace strengthens the company bottom line while growing our local and regional economy! 

Steve Hoyt-McBeth of SmartTrips Business and Tom Rousculp of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and representatives from Regence and New Seasons shared how bicycling has transformed their workplaces for the better and how your business can get involved.  See Steve Hoyt-McBeth's slides here and Timothy Morita-McVey's (Regence) slides here.

July 21st:  

Promoting Bikes & Road Safety Outside of the Urban Core:  Bruce Buffington / North West Bicycle Safety Council

Bruce discussed the challenges and rewards of educating road users about safety and encouraging bicycling in urban, suburban, and rural communities. 

June 16th: 

The Portland Society: Women of Portland, on bikes and in business

The Portland Society is a nonprofit alliance of Portland women who are invested in both business and bicycling. Co-founder Elly Blue talked about how they create opportunities for networking, leadership, professional development, growing their businesses, and riding bikes. 

Missed the Brown Bag?  Watch a 10-min. video of the highlights

And read about the online discussion Elly Blue started on why women aren't using bikes as much as men.


Bike mosaic from Antofogasta, ChileMay 19: 

A Movement for Mobility, Lessons from Latin America (A transit trip from Portland to Puerto Montt, Chile)

Did you know that Guadalajara, Mexico has a Bike Fun movement that is arguably more robust than Portland?

Or that Mexico City runs their Sunday Parkways past the National Cathedral, Presidential Palace, and the Zocalo?

Or that the government of Chile finances the purchase of tricycles for recycling scrappers as a low level economic stimulus?

Two Portland Bicycle and Tricycle advocates ventured from Portland to Southern Chile by public transit and learned many lessons from our bikey brothers and sisters to the south.  They met bike activists, politicians, and tricycle vendors along the way.  See photos on their Flickr page, e.g. Mexico City's ciclovia.

Bike railroad track signApril 21: 

Hitting the Streets: Bike Commuting Injuries in PDX

Bill Lambert, PhD, OHSU Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Center for Healthy Communities

Ever wonder about the numbers and types of injuries that occur during bike commuting to work?  Dr. Lambert will present the findings from an OHSU study of 1000 bike commuters who reported on their  injuries over a one-year period in 2007-08.  Injury events were evaluated with respect to rider experience, safety equipment, and street conditions.   You can download a pdf of the journal article using a link on OregonLive here.  

March 17:  

Remaking Traffic Signals to Encourage Cycling

Historically, most streets and traffic signals were designed and managed to meet mobility standards that focus on the movement of motor vehicles, failing to adequately accommodate and prioritize cycling. A new culture of innovation is needed to meet the goals laid out in the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030. Peter Koonce, Manager of the City's Signals, Street Lighting, & ITS Division discussed how the City's traffic signals will be made more effective for people riding bicycles.  View this talk as presented at PSU's Transportation Seminar by clicking this link and searching for the March 2011 session.

February 17:  

Portland and Europe Bike Planning: Impressions and Connections

Portland has taken many of its innovative ideas for urban mobility from Europe, which has been working on these issues for more than three decades. Portland journalist Brett Campbell recently spent a month talking to planners, pols and pedal pushers in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark about the lessons they've learned and imparted -- and their view of how Portland's doing now, and where we might go next.
Brett Campbell is a regular contributor to Willamette Week, the Wall Street Journal, Oregon Quarterly, and writes for many other publications. He lives in downtown Portland.  Contact Timo Forsberg for a .WMA audio file of the talk.
Brett's talk was enhanced with photographs of bike facilities in Europe taken by Greg Raisman from PBOT's Traffic Investigations division.

January 20, 2011:  

Safe Routes to School: Agonies of Defeat and Exultations of Success

Four Portland parents shared their strategies to increase biking and walking at school, and their on-the-ground experiences. 

Immediately after the Brown Bag we had an extended conversation about starting a Safe Routes activity.  Much networking occured.  Thanks to Safe Routes for the tea and cookies while we discussed.

Read a short summary of the session here [thanks to BikeTrain blog]. 

Take a look at the Maplewood & Beach Schools' slides.


Nov. 18:  

Incentivizing Biking at Work & School

Oregon Health Science University’s John Landolfe presented on incentivizing biking at work and school, including budget-conscious solutions and a first look at OHSU’s new web app to streamline cash-for-biking and data-crunching on ridership. 

Download a PDF of the presentation notes here (744 kb). 

Read a write-up of the presentation on the BTA's blog here.

Learn about OHSU's bike program by clicking here.

Oct. 21:   

What I Learned at ProWalk/ProBike

A biennial conference presented by the National Center for Biking and Walking, ProWalk/ProBike is THE place to be for professionals and activists promoting active transportation and livable communities.  Rob Sadowsky and LeeAnne Ferguson from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Steph Routh from the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition, Colin Maher of TriMet,  Gabe Graff, PBOT Safe Routes to School, and Sarah Figliozzi, PBOT (Bike Parking)  told about new ideas and strategies they found at this year's confab.

Here's a link to LeeAnne's presentation on Safe Routes to School education programs in Portland that she gave at ProWalk/ProBike. You can find slides from many of the other sessions here.

September 16: 

Adventures in Bike Mapping

Matthew Hampton of Metro (Bike There!)  and Jeff Smith of PBOT (Portland By Bicycle and more) shared recent developments in helping cyclists find their way.  Contact Timo Forsberg for a .WMA audio file of the talk and .PDF files of the slides.  [On the audio file Jeff Smith is first, Matthew Hampton starts at 18:17.]

Aug 19th: 

De-Throned! Why Minneapolis is the new #1 Bike City

Ian Stude, PSU Transportation Options manager

After many years as Bicycling Magazine’s top city for biking in North America Portland was displaced by Minneapolis.  Ian Stude went, he saw, and came back to tell us what he found – and what Portland can learn from our snowy friends to the East.

Co-sponsored by PBOT Transportation Options and PSU Parking and Transportation Services

July 15th: 

Rob Sadowsky - Welcome to Portland, Now Get on the Mike

Welcoming the incoming Executive Director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance to town. 

Rob talked about new directions for the BTA and biking in Portland.  Rob also asked the group to help brainstorm ways to "herd the cats."

June 17th: 

Authors on Bikes  

Mia BirkJoe Kurmaskie, and Jeff Mapes ride what they know.

May 20th: 

Goodbye Park & Ride, Hello Bike & Ride 

How to make riding your bike to transit as attractive as driving your car.  Colin Maher previewed TriMet bike parking projects.  Read a full write-up of the presentation from, and a follow-up on the project.

April 15th:  

Understanding Barriers to Bicycling

Have you noticed who rides bicycles in your community? Have you noticed who doesn’t?

In early 2009 the Community Cycling Center recognized that, despite the cost savings and health benefits of bicycling, many people cannot or do not choose bicycles to get around — particularly among communities of color.

Alison Graves, Executive Director of the Community Cycling Center, shared what has been learned during the Understanding Barriers to Bicycling project and what can be done to reduce roadblocks to bicycle use.  Look for the full report online after May 1st.  Also, read this excellent summary of the presentation on .

March 18:

Promoting Bike Tourism : Ride Oregon, Ride! + Oregon's Scenic Bikeways 

Kristin Dahl / Travel Oregon, and Alexandra Phillips / Oregon Parks and Recreation

Oregon is the first state in the country to have a State Scenic Bikeway program.  Bikeways show Oregonians and tourists the best places to enjoy the beauty of Oregon from the viewpoint of a bike seat. Learn how bikeways are designated and the important role local proponents play in each designation.
Rideoregonride is the site to visit when planning any kind of bike trip. This interactive site was recently launched by Travel Oregon.  Read about Travel Oregon's new campaign to promote Oregon's great biking in this BikePortland article.

January 21:

Initial Assessment of Portland's Green Bike Boxes, Jennifer Dill and Chris Monsere, Portland State University

Portland pioneered the use of bike boxes to prevent "right-hook" crashes.  Dr. Dill and Dr. Monsere will share initial findings from their study of this innovative intersection treatment.  (Originally presented at the Dec 2009 PSU Transportation Seminar.)


November 19

Carrying Stuff by Bike - show & tell

 - special location at Portland State University  

Get ready to haul – well, whatever you’ve got!  From groceries to kids to furniture, sometimes you just can’t travel light when going by bike.  Presenters showed a variety of different methods and rigs. Presenters included:

October 15:

Lessons from Europe: A Look at Residential Streets - A presentation by PBOT's Greg Raisman

Europe’s cycle tracks and bicycle signals in commercial areas have garnered a lot of attention.  But most trips start at home and 70% of Portland's streets are residential.

Bike Boulevards present an excellent opportunity to address these important goals. Come hear about residential traffic calming concepts that could take Portland to the next level, making our streets safer for children, seniors, and people with disabilities – and more attractive for cycling.

See the Powerpoint slides in a PDF file (5.3 mb) here - includes many links to video and additional photos showing how these streets work in real life.

September 17:

Bike Boulevards  - where will they go next?

PBOT will add 15 miles of Bike Boulevards to Portland's bikeway network in the near future.  Where are they going? What will they look like? And how soon can you enjoy them?  Project Manager Kyle Chisek and Project Sponsor Mark Lear presented.

Read more about the project here.  Wondering what Bike Boulevards are?  View an infomercial here.

August 20:

Adventures in Bike Parking

It's great to ride but where do you leave your beloved steed once you get there?  Especially when "you" is about 8% of everyone traveling.  Sarah Figliozzi talked about some of the challenges and some creative solutions.

View a primer about on-street bike parking here. You can also check's coverage here.

July 16:

Bike Sharing - in Portland? 

It's all the rage in Paris, Barcelona, London, Stockholm - what does Europe know that Portland might learn?  Steve Hoyt-McBeth of PBOT's Transportation Options division shared what he's learned about the potential for a new kind of transit in the Rose City.  Find out about bike sharing before the Brown Bag here.

June 18:

Gateway Green - An Emerald Jewel on a Platinum Strand?

A concept to convert a neglected parcel of land into a premier recreation destination.  Linda Robinson and Ted Gilbert from Friends of Gateway Green presented on how a proposed park at the juncture of 1-205 and 1-84 could reclaim greenspace, create a world-class off-road cycling facility, link neighbors, spur development in East Portland, and serve as a model for sustainable practices - all just a short MAX or bike ride away! (Find out more from's extensive coverage.)

May 21:

The Platinum Bicycle Master Plan

Ellen Vanderslice, Project Manager, presented a status report on this revision of the 1996 Bike Master Plan.

You're invited to join us at a Virtual Open House for the Bike Master Plan. Or take a look at Ellen's Brown Bag Presentation in pdf format (4 mb file).

Thursday, April 16:

Be a Bicycle (Commuter) Champion!

Encouraging Riding at Portland State University

Learning some fun and easy ways to get your friends and colleagues to take bike commuting for a test ride - and to stick with it!

March 19:

Bikes and Transit: Strategies for Growth 

Both transit use and the number of people cycling are going up. And be it weather, hills, or a flat, sometimes a biker just needs a bus.

How can we accomodate more people and bikes in the system? Check out this article or this article for a look at some of the challenges.  Read this article for some good news.

Colin Maher of TriMet presented this slide show (click for 911 kb PDF file).  Click here for a short summary of the presentation.

Feb 19:

The Proposed Idaho Stop Law:  Now we're rolling!

The Bicycle Transportation Allliance has drafted legislation to allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs.  Ray Thomas, attorney and author of Pedal Power: A legal guide for Oregon bicyclists, and Karl Rohde, former Government Relations and Public Affairs Director for the BTA, discussed what this law would mean for cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.

For another discussion of the topic listen to the KBOO Bike Show program from Feb. 4.  (thanks to for hosting the Bike Show archives), or read these files:

Draft Legislation - Idaho-style stop law; Idaho-style stop Frequently Asked Questions; Article: "Why Bicyclists Hate Stop Signs"


Jan 27

"What I Saw in Copenhagen and What You Might See in Portland"

City Traffic Engineer Rob Burchfield joined several Portlanders on a trip to (perhaps) the most bike-friendly city in the world.  The record-sized crowd heard what he learned and how Portland may benefit.  You can review the powerpoint here.



Nov 20:

Biking in the Rain  Learn to love Portland's weather - on your bike! 

Presented in partnership with Portland State University's Transportation Options.

Why celebrate winter riding?  Let me count the ways. You can shower on your way to work / Easier to find bike parking than in the summer. Impress your non-biking coworkers / You feel so good when you get inside again.


Oct 16:

Cycle Zone Analysis:  A New Bicycle Planning Tool

Click here to view the Powerpoint slides (4 mb PDF).

Special thanks to! You can view the slideshow and listen to the audio of this session (just click the link and scroll to the bottom of the post - click the "four arrows" button in the bottom left corner of the window for full-screen viewing). 

To better understand how conditions for cycling vary across the city, Portland planners moved away from the city's eight traditional planning zones--defined by political boundaries--and instead divided the city into 32 "cycle zones" that describe distinct micro-environments for bicycling. This presentation describes how this tool is helping Portland more accurately assess conditions for cycling in sub-areas of the city and create more focused treatments to improve cycling conditions.

Sep 18:

Parents on Bikes 

How do they do it?  We'll have a panel of moms and dads who use bikes for the family transport tell us their secrets.  -> Bike and Walk to School Day is Wed, Oct. 8th! <- 

Aug 21:

Bike Champions 

Get ready for the Bike Commute Challenge with tales from these workplace superheros.

July 17:

North Portland Greenway

Envision a trail system along the Willamette River from the Steel Bridge in downtown Portland to Cathedral Park near the St. Johns Bridge.  Scott Mizee and Francie Royce spoke about progress towards realizing the dream.

June 19:  

Bikes in China 

Jeff Smith, Portland's Bike Map guru, talked about what he learned across the Pacific.

May 15th: 

Bikes and Buses

Portlanders use these vehicles more than most Americans.  Representatives from TriMet and the BTA talked about working together to help everyone get to their destinations safely.

April 17: 

Sunday Parkways

Linda Ginenthal, Program Manager with Transportation Options, talked about the process of bringing this event, based on Bogota's Ciclovia, to Portland. 

Read more about the event here.  Includes links to Linda's Powerpoint, videos of the event in Portland and in other cities, and stories from Portlanders who walked, biked, rolled and strolled that Sunday.

March 20th:

The Bike Box: Portland's new green space.

Roger Geller, City of Portland Bicycle Coordinator, discussed how advanced stop bars and colored pavement treatments will help prevent crashes and increase safety for cyclists. Read more about bike boxes here.

Plus special guest Raymond Gawthorne, veteran driver with the Bureau of Maintenance, offered a perspective on road safety from the cab of a truck. Read about Raymond's presentation here.

February 21st: 

From DIY to Public Funding: Financing Portland's First Bicycle Paths, 1896-1899

Historian Eric Lundgren discussed early efforts to fund and build safe routes for cyclists.  Read a transcript of Eric's talk here.

January 17th: 

Safe, Sound & Green Streets for Cyclists soon?

Mark Lear & Jamie Waltz of the Safe, Sound & Green Streets project and Roger Geller, City of Portland Bicycle Coordinator discussed the proposed bikeway network improvements in store if the Safe, Sound & Green Streets proposal is adopted. 


January 18:

We kicked off the series with a great documentary film,  Portland: Celebrating America's Most Liveable City (click here to see a clip about Bike Boulevards). The film shows what our citizens and leaders have done in the past to promote and build the number one bicycling city in the U.S.

Additionally, we heard presentations about Transportation Options' award winning programs to encourage alternative transportation,  SmartTrips Downtown and SmartTrips Southeast .

February 15:

Is the fresh air blowing through the halls of power a tail wind for cyclists?

February's Brown Bag featured two speakers well-positioned to bring us news from the front of the legislative peleton:

Karmen Fore, District Director for  Rep. Peter DeFazio's office and Scott Bricker from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance discussed issues of interest to cyclists in our local and national legislatures. A video of the presentation will be available in the near future.

March 15:

Making Oregon the premier place for a bike holiday

Iris Riggs, Bicycle Recreation Coordinator for Oregon Parks and Recreation spoke about promoting Oregon's great opportunities for biking, on the roads and the trails. She is working with local governments and bike groups, as well as helping Travel Oregon expand their promotion of cycling.

Jeff Smith from PDOT Transportation Options discussed tips on planning a bike vacation.

Get information to plan your trip in our Bicycle Touring webpages.

April 19:

Portland's Bike Master Plan Update

After 10 years, Portland's plan is being updated, and we're going for Platinum !  Roger Geller, Portland's Bicycle Coordinator, took a look at how far we've come since 1994 when the first BMP was envisioned.  He posed the question, How can we use our current momentum to make Portland truly a world-class city for bikes?

Continue the conversation - come on one of the Bike Master Plan rides (click for more information ).

May 17:

Bike to Work...In Style! + Bike to Fun

Bike fashionistas Carye Bye, Jessica Roberts, Scott Bricker, Shawn Granton, and Tori Bortman offered tips for looking good on the way, and when you get there.  Attendees were treated to a showing of the film "Do Skirts & Bike Mix?", as well as Scott's demonstration of how to look sharp on the outside while staying sporty on the inside.  The panel also talked about organizing a bike-fun event (Pedalpalooza is in June).

June 21st:

Why People Aren't Cycling (and How to Help Them Start)

What new focus group and poll information tells us.  Linda Ginenthal, Program Manager for Transportation Options, presented results from a new study commissioned by the City. Click here to download the presentation slides.  (A written narrative for this session will be available soon.)

July 19th: 

I Share the Path - Pedestrians and Cyclists Can Coexist in Peace, Ask Me How!

This special field-trip edition of the Bicycle Brown Bag series took a spin over the Hawthorne Bridge to the Eastbank Esplanade.  There we talked about how to encourage path users to show courtesy.  We also reviewed the new Share the Path brochure, produced by Portland Parks and PDOT.

August  16th:

Gear up for the Bike Commute Challenge

Advice and support for advocates who want to help their colleagues get on bikes, from the experts - worksite coordinators who have gotten results. Read their suggestions here .

The BTA's Bike Commute Challenge occurs every September.

September 20th:

Innovative Designs in Bikeways and Parking

Tales and pictures from the cutting edge of bicycle-friendly transportation design –at home and abroad! 

  • Jeff Mapes , Political Reporter for the Oregonian, described his experiences riding in several U.S. cities that are working on becoming more bike-friendly.  He's writing a book on bicycling for transportation in the U.S. 

  • Steve Durrant, Sr. Associate and Landscape Architect for Alta Planning and Design, shared his observations from a recent stay in London.  His slides featured bikeway design elements, which are supported by a strong education and encouragement message from the local government.

  • Todd Boulanger , Sr. Transportation Planner for the City of Vancouver, showed a variety of parking designs used in Europe and at Bikestation locations in the U.S. 

November 15th:

See & Be Seen and I Share the Road - we can all get along!

Whether you walk, drive, bike, or ride transit, you're in the enviable position of traveling in Portland. What each of us can do to make the road safer for ourselves and our neighbors.

Judge Christopher A. Larsen spoke about the success of the I Share the Road diversion class, which offers remedial education for the traffic-infraction impaired. Karl Rohde, Legislative Director for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, gave an inspiring pitch for more and better education for motorists.