. 11th Annual Policymaker Ride | Cycle Oregon

The Best Bike Ride in America

11th Annual Policymaker Ride

Cycle Oregon & The Intertwine Alliance present:

A Voyage of the Visionaries: The Policy Peloton XI

Friday, August 14

Our cycling tour — curated to showcase exciting triumphs and spotlight enduring opportunities — will explore The Green Loop as we highlight the initiative to craft in Portland’s urban core an integrated network of bicycle routes and green oases. This year’s ride will appeal to even the most casual cyclist. Hand-picked guests include elected officials, citizen advocates, urban planners, policy wonks, property developers and corporate tycoons.

Why Bikes?

As you consider why you are on this ride (early morning bagels and cream cheese?, a good beer at lunch?, the opportunity to ponder policies while pedaling?), consider what have bikes ever done for you. Since this ride is sometimes known as the Visionaries Voyage, think also about your vision for bicycling in the city and region. How good do you want us to be?


Consider the number 40,354. That’s the growth in Portland commuters between 2000 and 2013. More than a third of those commuters—34 percent, representing the largest group—go to work by bicycle. Consider the number 23. Metro and the city project there will be 130,000 additional households in Portland by 2035. Portland will need 23 more Powell Boulevard-type streets just to maintain existing levels of motor vehicle operation. Consider the number $75.66. That’s the average amount spent monthly by a person who bicycles to one of the region’s commercial districts. A study by PSU researchers found it to be more than was spent by people arriving any other way. Consider the number 0.027. That’s the proportion of the region’s cumulative capital transportation investments that went to bicycling and walking combined from 1995 to 2010. Consider the number 208. That’s the number of years needed at current spending levels to complete the regional active transportation network (cost of $2.1 billion).


As you ride today, think about these numbers. Consider also what you’d like to see the city and region accomplish with the $6 million Central City Multi Modal Transportation Project and the Green Loop project. The better we build these, the more people they will serve. Read More


The Intertwine

The Intertwine is the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region’s integrated network of parks, trails, natural areas, and watersheds. The Intertwine 3,000 square mile geography stretches from beyond Clark County’s Lewis River in the north, south to the confluence of the Molalla and Pudding Rivers and east from the Cascade Foothills, west to the Coast Range.


The Intertwine Alliance is a coalition of more than 140 private firms, public agencies and nonprofit organizations working together to integrate nature more deeply into the fabric of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region. The Alliance taps new sources of funding, better leverages existing investments, and more fully engage residents with the outdoors and nature. The Alliance was built over many years but was formally launched as a nonprofit in July 2011 with 28 partners. Read More


The Green Loop

The “Green Loop” is a big idea coming out of the Central City 2035 Plan, inviting residents, employees, and visitors to experience Portland’s urban core in an entirely new way. It will create an iconic linear open space that will encourage healthy, active lifestyles and help organize new, high density growth and development in the Central City for generations to come. Essentially, the Green Loop envisions a 6-mile contiguous corridor offering different open space experiences, all linked together by safe pathways for walkers, joggers and bicyclists of all ages and abilities.


It will help bring the city’s communities safely and directly to regional attractions, cultural institutions, open spaces, employment centers and shopping districts found only in the Central City. New places along the Loop will highlight the unique local characters of each district, through customization of street furniture, public art, lighting, signage, etc. Portland’s Green Loop is part of an emerging national trend to reclaim public space in the hearts of our cities: for greenspace, parks, active transportation, and simply the enjoyment of urban places. Read More


Complete Streets

Walking, bicycling and other forms of active travel are good for everyone. They’re healthful and affordable. They keep our air and water clean. They support the economy, relieve congestion and improve mobility, especially for those unable to drive. Active transportation depends on complete streets, and complete streets depend on livable design. Metro is advancing a range of policies, plans, design guidance and funding opportunities to help create complete streets in more communities around the Portland metropolitan region. Read More


The Take-Away

We invited you to ride this year with our Policy Peloton because we think of you as more than a “civic influencer.” We think of you as an actual “policymaker.” This year’s ride is particularly important to policy wonks, advocates and policy makers in that virtually every issue touched on during the ride is addressed in Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan update. Portland City Council will adopt the new Comprehensive Plan this coming November, presenting numerous opportunities for your input: the Green Loop concept and a series of other open space, riverfront, pedestrian and bicycle policies guiding growth and change in downtown for the next 25 years will be at City Council in the Summer of 2016; public work sessions on numerous goals and policies addressing equity, open space, active transportation and city livability in the Comprehensive Plan with City Council in the Fall of 2015; and, this fall, influence a concrete civic improvement with Portland’s $6 million Central City project, about which you heard today.


At the regional level there are also several opportunities this coming fall to weigh in and take action, including: framing policy for the 2019-2021 round of regional flexible fund allocations; Metro’s transportation advisory committee (JPACT) and the Metro Council will decide what to include in the work plan for the Regional Transportation Plan update; and the Metro Council will make a decision on the two-year work plan for Designing Livable Streets and design guidelines for streets and trails. In the winter of 2016 solicitation begins for 2019-21 regional flexible fund allocations.As a follow up to this year’s ride you will be updated as these opportunities for your input occur.