Big News: We’re expanding our mission and adding a political arm

Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) Board of Directors and Staff are excited to announce that we are expanding our mission to include walking and transit to ensure that the Portland region remains one of the best biking, walking and transit cities in the country.

With the mission expansion, the BTA will change it’s name and create a 501(c)4 advocacy arm, and possibly a political action committee, that would allow us to more directly influence candidates and issues. The formal transition is expected to occur in the fall of 2016.

“People who ride bikes, pedestrians and transit riders have shared interests and values,” said Justin Yuen, Board Chair. “All of us want safe, healthy streets for our kids, our aging parents and our families in every community, not just inner Portland neighborhoods. It became clear to the Board that to realize this vision we needed to expand our mission and play a larger role in issues and electing candidates that will fight for safe streets in every neighborhood.”

Although the BTA was founded as a bike-centric organization in 1990, in recent years we have advocated for complete streets that include safe space for all road users.

“The mission expansion is an evolution of our work over the last several years,” BTA’s Executive Director Rob Sadowsky said. “We’re more effective advocates and educators when we look at our streets and neighborhoods from the perspective of people walking, taking transit and biking. We are excited to continue our work with coalition partners to build safer neighborhoods throughout the region where all of us can thrive.”

TriMet General Manager, Neil McFarlane,  has welcomed the broadened approach. “This change will strengthen our efforts to ensure safe access to transit, whether on a bike or walking,” said McFarlane. “With the BTA advocating for all modes of active transportation, it means the entire region will benefit and will result in safer streets for all users. And as we expand service, we’ll work closer with BTA and others to leverage those investments and improve mobility for our growing region.”

The BTA will continue its education and advocacy programs, ensuring the region is moving towards 25 percent of all trips in the region are being taken by bicycle, fighting for Vision Zero policies, educating young people through Safe Routes to Schools programs and building healthy streets for people who bike, walk and take transit throughout the region.

BTA board and staff will be spending the summer and fall on a strategic plan to implement the expanded mission. Part of this work includes ensuring that the needs of current members continue to be served as well as recruiting new members and partners in the future.

We’ll have further details, including our new name, at our Annual Member Meeting in August. In the meantime, please read our FAQ and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings by signing up for our newsletter here.

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Comments (10)

  1. Phillip Brown Permalink  | Aug 09, 2016 04:01pm

    As a former member and past Chairman of the Clark County Bicycle Advisory Committee, I am opposed to the proposed changes, especially the name change. In 2010, a similar change was made to the Clark County BAC, with the addition of several new committee members, all pedestrian advocates. The name was also changed to the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Since that time, the emphasis has been nearly completely on pedestrian issues, and virtually nothing has been done to help the Clark County bicycling community. I would remind you that the issues facing cyclists and pedestrians are NOT the same – cyclists using, and legally entitled to use, the same facilities as motor vehicles, with special accommodations made for their safe passage in many instances. Pedestrian issues are completely different, the only commonality being safety. I would hate to see the same outcome in Portland as in Clark County. There should rightfully be two separate advocacy organizations, so as to maintain and further the progress that has been made for the BICYCLING public since 1990.

    Thank you,

    Phillip Brown,
    Past Chairman, Clark County Bicycle Advisory Committee
    Past President, Portland Wheelmen Touring Club
    Former Member, City of Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee

  2. Todd Boulanger Permalink  | Dec 29, 2016 04:19pm

    I was a bit surprised to still see the “BTA” website up and running vs. a redirect to the “Street Trust”. Is the “fall 2016” transition still taking place? Perhaps its time to update this page with new years update…?

    • Lauren Hugel Permalink  | Dec 30, 2016 09:14am

      Hi Todd!

      This transition is taking a little longer than expected, but we’ll be starting the new year as The Street Trust! We’ll have an update on our blog soon. If you haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet, feel free to do so here.

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