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May 8th Bicycle Transportation Coalition meeting

Posted by Peter W on May 11, 2007

Jenny and I went to the Washington County BTC (Bicycle Transportation Coalition) meeting on Tuesday night and it was pretty interesting.

Heres the highlights:

We met Dick Schouten, a Washington County Commissioner who is very bike friendly (he commutes by bike in fact). He’ll be a good contact if we need help getting things done in Washington County (for example, getting crosswalks put in near PCC Rock Creek, and along the Rock Creek Trail).

Commissioner Schouten would like to see Washington County more involved in promoting bike tourism related events, such as Cycle Oregon (Day 2 of the Weekend route is partly in Washington County). There is a 2% motel tax which generates funds to promote wineries, ameature sports and nature — all of which fit well with recreational cycling. Currently most travelers in the county are on business trips, so it would be great to increase both tourism and cycling.

Hal Ballard (one of the main BTC leaders) suggested that Commisioner Schouten look into the League of American Bicyclists Bike Friendly Communities award, to see if Washington County could qualify for that. Usually it is given to cities, but Washington County is quite urban and probably does a lot more for cyclists than other counties in the U.S.

On April 19th, 7 members of RROMAC, Tom Tushner (the county’s lead Traffic Engineer) and other traffic engineers attended Hal’s class that covers bicycle information for motorists. It is good to see that the county is educating their traffic engineers about bicycle issues.

The BTC has also convinced the county that when chip-seal is re-applied to rural roads it should not be applied to the shoulders where bicycles travel (because it takes a long time for that stuff to become smooth enough for comfortable riding). Besides improving road conditions for cyclists, that alone will save the county about $40,000 per year. In addition, the county has agreed that when they pave (or was it re-pave?) rural roads, they should add a small amount of extra pavement to the shoulders to make them more safe to ride on (I think it was like a foot).

The BTC does Bike Safety tabling at the Cedar Mills Farmers Market. Also, Hillsboro Farmers Market has asked the BTC to do tabling, but the BTC doesn’t have the people-power (yet!). They are looking for volunteers.

The BTC is working on creating something like the Community Cycling Center, in Beaverton. They’re applying for a small grant from the city which would pay for a company like Alta Planning and Design to help design the facility and figure out how it would operate, and then they’re going to re-apply for a 200K grant to get it started. Pretty cool if you ask me!

Perhaps most exciting to me is that one of the members has access to video recording gear, including a helmet cam. I would like to try one of those some time.

It is a pretty cool group of people. I’m looking forward to riding with them at the Westside Ride of Silence, on Wednesday May 16th. (details).


One Response to “May 8th Bicycle Transportation Coalition meeting”

  1. JohnO said

    Hey, good encapsulation of the BTC meeting. I joined the BTC recently, but I have two little kids and have a hard time doing stuff like making it to meetings in the evenings. However, since I ride 3 times a week, I’m pretty attuned to all the quirks and imperfections of my route, and it’s good to know people are out there making things better.

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