Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Found: Downtown Headquarters of Portland Bike Nuts

Coasting down SW 11th Avenue last Tuesday morning on my way from a haircut to my job, I stopped to snap yet another cool bike rack when I noticed the sign of the door behind it: BTA: Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

I’ve used their maps, I’ve seen their materials at street fairs and in bike shops. And now, completely by surprise, I’ve stumbled upon their location, right in the middle of downtown. I parked (at the cool bike rack) and walked in – to find an actual office, with desks and people in it, working on the matters of bicycles. I took a card and after thoroughly examining their website, I’m impressed with this group. Maybe I’ll join and maybe they could help me complain about things that aren’t working for bicycling around Portland. (I so love complaining!) Or to put it in lovely positive terms for all you perky upbeat types, I have lots of ideas they might be interested in hearing from a daily user of the bike system. The site offers a ton of information and/or links to information and other biking sites.

Will I agree with them? I don't know. Are they going to tell me I shouldn't have been riding on the sidewalk that day, the nice wide sidewalk without a pedestrian to be seen? That I should follow all the rules of cars and take none of the advantages of NOT being a car? No doubt a little more time on their site will help me figure out where they stand on these matters.

Nevertheless, I feel lucky to live in a city that has that kind of support for this allegedly crazy thing I’m trying to do. I wonder if in some cities in China, where the streets are squirming with bicyclists, they have a similar office dedicated to changing city streets to accommodate more cars; get people to quit riding those silly bicycles. Wouldn’t surprise me. I read an article somewhere about the American auto industry trying to develop new markets in China.

Photos to follow later tonight. I'm out of time.


At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTA is great. All they really do is advocate for bikers. I don't think they care whether you ride on the sidewalk or not, although I would recommend against it downtown since the fine is pretty hefty.

At 1:46 PM, Blogger kate gawf said...

You're kidding! There's a fine? When? Where? How much? and when did THAT start? Do they really stop people? I see cops on bikes on the sidewalk all the time. kate


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