Today we are pleased to announce that BTA’s number one legislative priority for this year has passed both the Senate and House in Oregon and is off to the Governor’s office for signing.
First things first: in this momentous victory for funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects the Bicycle Transportation Alliance would like to thank the long list of BTA members, elected leaders, citizen activists, and coalition partners who helped make it possible. Our strength comes from a large and growing community of supporters. Thank you.
We couldn’t have done this without leadership in the Oregon Legislature. Champions like Majority Leader Val Hoyle, House Speaker Tina Kotek, Representative Tobias Read, Representative Jules Bailey, Representative Peter Buckley, Senate President Peter Courtney, Senator Jackie Dingfelder, Senator Chip Shields, and Senator Rod Monroe helped lead the way for the entire legislative body to understand and ultimately support this policy change.
Also on our list of people to thank is our tireless advocate, Jonathan Manton. Jonathan, a principal at Sawnee Services, is a big part of our family and his steady hand helps guide our legislative policy campaigns to success.
With today’s passage of bicycle and pedestrian eligibility in the Connect Oregon program, the State of Oregon is stepping up to help solve some longstanding challenges. This victory is especially notable as our state strives to make biking and walking safer, works to reduce pollution from cars and trucks, struggles to maintain our existing transportation systems, and builds a more multimodal transportation system that provides options for how people get around. By increasing Oregon’s investment in bicycle and pedestrian projects we move closer to achieving each of these goals during a time of dwindling budgets.
We are not done. We need to build a strong slate of projects that will meet the economic criteria applied to this set of funding. We hope that large trail projects in our Blueprint will be perfect examples of qualified projects. This is also just another step in our overall efforts to expand funding for active transportation in the state.