Portlands BTA and Bicycle Advocacy

The Portland Bicycle Transportation Alliance is a great advocate for bicyclists. They continue to provide wonderful support to all bike riders. We should continue to support their work in return. Here is a recent update of their progress:


We want to update you on the work we’ve been doing this fall with the Portland Police. In the wake of several tragic, high profile bike crashes many people in the region were frustrated with the police response, concerned about their rights on the road, and feeling helpless to ensure their own safety in such an uncertain enforcement environment.
We’ve begun a dialogue with Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer and Traffic Division Commander Vince Jarmer and they have expressed a willingness to work with us and to work on their enforcement and communication practices around bike crashes.
Here’s what we’ve asked for:

  • A Community Policing Agreement that will outline agreed enforcement practices. This agreement will be developed with participation from the cycling community, PDOT, the Police Bureau, the District Attorney’s office, and the City Council.
  • Enforcement actions at high-crash locations.
  • Monthly reports on citations and investigations from the police bureau.
  • Change to the policy on when an investigation is conducted and a citation issued. We want the city to allocate more resources to the Traffic Division to allow them to investigate all crashes involving vulnerable roadway users.
  • Reduction in delays to investigations caused by the State Police Crime Lab. Further, the police will notify us when investigations are complete and reports are available for review.
  • Education of officers on the unique vulnerability and safety issues regularly faced by cyclists.
  • Establishment of a bicycle liaison in the traffic division.
  • Sting operations with undercover officers or volunteers on bikes to catch motorists engaged in road rage behavior.
  • Better training for officers on how to communicate to the media after a bike crash.

We are pleased that the Portland Police Bureau is willing to examine and evolve their own internal processes as Portland becomes a more bicycle-friendly city, and we will be working with them on these issues intensively over the next few months.

In addition to the above, we are working with folks from around the State to strengthen sentencing laws and facilitate citizen initiated citations.

If you have thoughts or concerns, please let us know. Thanks to all BTA members – this kind of long-term advocacy can make big positive change, but it takes time and planning and cooperation. Your support is what makes it possible.


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