The following blog post is a letter from myself and a handful of key freight advocates to the bicycle and freight coordinators at the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). Recognizing the need to work together and the fact that we are stronger together, the co-signers of this letter have been meeting on a semi-regular basis for several years to compare notes and consider opportunities to collaborate on transportation projects and policy decisions. After sending the following letter, PBOT staff hosted a follow up meeting and we are continuing the conversation with city staff at the table.
The reason we are sharing this communication on our blog is because we think it is important to understand how, as bicycle advocates, we are building relationships and partnerships with leaders from across the community to help find solutions to our shared problems and grow support for our cause.
Dear Bob Hillier and Roger Geller,
We would like to connect with both of you to discuss an opportunity. Members of the Freight Advisory Committee have been meeting with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance to think about a way we can work together on our shared goals of safety and mobility for all modes.
As we think about our commercial corridors in the City of Portland, whether they are designated as Streets of Citywide Significance or just function as major arterials, we realize that they present some of the toughest challenges ahead for accommodating an increasing number of safe trips while preserving freight access. One of the ideas we have been kicking around involves developing some focused design recommendations, ideas that freight and bicycle stakeholders can support, for long term improvements on these major arterials.
In places where our existing freight and bicycle master plans overlap on these busy streets we’d like to sit down with you two, the keepers of those plans, to discuss how we can best meet the multiple demands for safety, mobility, and access for all users of the road. It would be great to think through the long term goals we share and design options that help us achieve those goals, before the projects become a line item in the budget or a grant request.
We would like your help in, first, finding the streets where the bicycle and freight plans overlap, and second, thinking about design options that maximize benefits and minimize impacts at those locations. We know this could be a long and challenging conversation, which is precisely why we want to get started now, in a series of meetings, so that we can develop a useful resource for later, when we are ready to begin construction.
We look forward to working with you to answer questions and concerns about this approach. Hopefully we can find time in all of our schedules to meet during the month of April.
Pia Welch, Fed Ex
Debra Dunn, Oregon Trucking Association
Jeff Swanson, Working Waterfront Coalition
Gerik Kransky, Bicycle Transportation Alliance
(Affiliations listed for identification purposes only)