Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December MWVBTA Meeting Cancelled; Change to come in New Year

The Mid-Willamette Valley Chapter of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance canceled the December meeting today, and previewed changes in 2011.

In his note announcing the cancellation, Doug Parrow said:
While today's meeting is cancelled, we do anticipate having a lot to talk about during subsequent meetings.

On Dec. 1, Mary, Eric and I went up to BTA headquarters to meet with Rob Sadowsky, the new BTA Executive Director, and Susan Peithman, the BTA Statewide Advocate (who recently has been focusing much of her work in Washington County). During the meeting, Rob told us that the organization was moving toward being a Portland metro area advocacy organization and encouraged those of us in the Salem-Keizer area to create our own advocacy organization.

This meeting (and the long-time inability of the BTA to effectively realize its goal of being an effective statewide organization) pose important questions for those of us who care about cycling in this area to work through. Mary, Eric and I are anticipating that our local group will begin to try to resolve the many questions in January and we hope to outline an agenda that will enable the group to effectively tackle those questions.
Some of you will also know that shortly after that meeting, Doug resigned from the BTA Board. As his note suggests, the "inability of the BTA to effectively realize its goal of being an effective statewide organization" made it increasingly unproductive for him to continue traveling to Portland to hear about and to work on Portland-area concerns and projects. He'd been on the Board for 12 years, and through that time always worked on the vision of a statewide advocacy organization. Lately the organization's focus has been narrowing, and this removed his reason for being on the board.

Thanks for all your work, Doug! He will be missed. At the same time, the move frees him to pursue his analysis and advocacy on road-funding and other projects, some local, some statewide.

So as you can see, there are a number of big things going on. Mary is helping write a piece about the Portland meeting, on our observations, and on our conclusions - so stay tuned!

More importantly, with change comes challenges and opportunities, and the opportunities to find a uniquely Salem-area path are especially exciting.

But we'll need your help! If you have ideas, projects, hopes, and desires we invite you to join us, roll up your sleeves, and get to work on making the Salem-Keizer area an even better place to bike!

Look for more on the January meeting and on the issues early next month.


MissyL said...

Thanks for the update. May I suggest that the January meeting be held on an evening or weekend? Mike and I would love to participate, but never have been able to come to the daytime BTA meetings because of work obligations.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks for the suggestion! Gary went down to Eugene for a meeting at the Oregon Electric Station, and said it was a terrific venue. Maybe it's time we had an adult-beverage meeting, too!

Daniel Evans said...

Wow! Big changes in store. I am disappointed in the BTA's narrower focus but I guess it is best to have things cleared up. I will be interested in seeing what happens in January.

Thanks to Doug for all his hard work!