Yesterday Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) staff were invited to give a presentation at the Portland Bureau of Transportation Bicycle Brown Bag lunch.
Rather than talk for an hour with a PowerPoint we decided to ask the 20+ participants one important question:
“What should be the BTA’s highest priority projects in the coming years?”
(If you weren’t able to join us for the Brown Bag, you can go here to share your answer.)
Ever since 2005 the BTA has been working on building the projects in our Blueprint for Better Biking. This 7 year-old list of our region’s top 40 bike projects has served as a tool for planners, decision makers, and the general public to rally around a common vision for improving conditions for bicycling.
Our 2012 standards are higher. We won’t settle for anything less than world-class.
We took a step towards updating the vision for the Blueprint by asking a couple dozen motivated people to share their favorite ideas while we took notes. The resulting lunchtime conversation was lively and passionate.
Some of the things we heard included seeking new funding sources for our transportation projects, building a “spine” of physically protected cycletracks on arterial roads, and committing to more off-street trails for people who walk and ride bikes.
There were well over a hundred ideas discussed at the Brown Bag session. Our staff, board, and volunteers will consider them all as we write a new Blueprint.
In the coming months we will organize and host more listening sessions, recruit feedback through our survey, and invite members and supporters to share videos detailing priority bike projects. When we finalize and publish a new Blueprint we hope to have gained input and support from as many people as possible.
The day the new Blueprint goes public is the day the hard work starts. It will likely take millions of dollars, thousands of hours, and dozens of years to achieve the bold vision we have in mind.
There will certainly be victories and projects completed throughout that time but the BTA won’t stop until the Portland metropolitan region is firmly established as a global leader in the number of people riding bikes.
We welcome anyone who wants to join us and help shape the future of the Blueprint for Better Biking.