If you want to really understand something, you should go to the source. And if you are interested in seeing sustainable transportation in action, you have to go to Portland, Oregon; the epicenter of bike culture and sustainable community design.
Last week on a beautiful summer evening, more than 70 people — 1% member companies, 1% NGO partners, along with Patagonia customers and other interested folks dropped into Patagonia Portland for an update on sustainable transportation initiatives.
We heard from Dan Powell, co-founder of Portland Design Works, a 1% member company that makes great bike accessories, about why he and his partner decided to locate their company in Portland. While they loved Wisconsin, Portland is “the place” for people who love bikes and biking in the United States. He loves being a part of a community where nearly 6% of the residents make their daily commute to work or school on a bike. This is a much higher percentage than is found in communities around the United States.
Dan and his partner wanted to build investment in environmental NGOs into their business model right from the start, and made the decision to become a 1% member. They support the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and work in partnership to help make Portland and other communities in Oregon more bike friendly.
Gerik Kransky, Advocacy Director for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, gave an update on biking issues at the local, state and federal levels. BTA is working to get funding for a bike sharing program in Portland, as well as advocating for bike friendly policies at the state and federal level. The BTA is a 1% NGO Recipient supported by six 1% member companies, five of whom are based in Oregon.
After the presentation, we got a chance to eat some great local, organic food and look at a display showing products from many Portland area companies involved in biking including Sweet Pea Bicycles, Truce and Patagonia.
Looking forward to seeing you all again on July 28th, at the final Eco-Trust Sunset Concert. Bring your friends and co-workers!