The Challenge has been around for a while, and participation even in Portland has been flat or declining. Its peak seems to have been in 2011, so in addition to whatever trends might characterize Salem in particular, there are larger statewide trends as well.
Even so, entities that you might think would embrace the Challenge as a public symbol and statement about institutional values have generally not embraced the Challenge and have not put much institutional force or many resources behind it. For them it remains a fringe-y side show. But maybe it's time for institutions and leadership to say "this is important." It's supposed to be a fun Encouragement project, and in that way shouldn't be taken too seriously. But maybe we aren't taking it seriously enough.
Or maybe the Challenge is just tired and it's time for something new.
Either way, current levels of interest have not been encouraging.
|0.7% participation at City of Salem Public Works|
Another group worth considering is ODOT, many of whose groups and functions are based on Salem.
|0.2 % participation at ODOT HQ|
|But 2.6% participation out on Fairview,|
where at least some of the Active Transport group are based
|Bike storage room, the 2012 Open House|
|3.4% participation at OHSU|
|0.1% participation at Salem Health|
Whether in Health Services or in Transportation Planning, the Challenge is an opportunity for leadership to say "biking is an important and beneficial part of our transportation system." The silence also says something about priorities.
So good news? Northwest Hub continues to lead its division!
|100%. That's the spirit!|