Here’s how Multnomah County promotes bicycling (video)

Here’s how Multnomah County promotes bicycling (video)

The vast majority of stories about road projects and transportation policies we publish here on BikePortland are about the City of Portland. The Oregon Department of Transportation is probably in second and Metro would be a close third. And then, way behind them all is Multnomah County. Because the County doesn’t control many newsmaking bikeways and they don’t hold as much sway over important transportation policies as PBOT, ODOT, or Metro, we can go months without even mentioning them.

But don’t forget about Multnomah County!

On that note, the County shared a new video with us today that we felt was worth a look. Given how rare it is that we cover County Chair Deborah Kafoury, we were excited to see how she’d talk about cycling.

The video is short and sweet. It features an intro/outro from Chair Kafoury and quick takes from several County employees who ride bikes to work.

County employees getting ready to ride.(Photo: Still from County video)

County employees getting ready to ride.
(Photo: Still from County video)

Here’s what Chair Kafoury says:

“Biking to work, to school, or to run errands is a stress-free way to get around Multnomah County. It’s also a great way to have fun with my family without a car and connect with our community up close. Biking also helps to keep our air clean by reducing car pollution. I rode my bike into work today and instead of burning fuel, I burned calories.”

And employee Mary-Margaret Wheeler-Weber:

“I like to ride because it can get me to where I want to go, faster than the bus can a lot of times, and it gives me a little fun time while I’m getting there.”

And employee Olivia Quiroz:

“I overcome barriers by practicing. I think that you need to get on your bike, feel confident, go at your own pace, read up before it if you don’t know the routes, get some maps, it’s OK there’s friendly bikers all over the city. I’ve gotten lost before and they’ve directed me to the right place.”

And employee Sam Baraso:

“When I get to ride with other people there’s this clan, when I’m riding in a bike way, there’s this sort of acknowledgement that we’re all in it together so I do like riding with people.”

And someone who goes by “Dan the Man”:

“Have fun. This is all about relaxation, taking care of yourself, taking care of your community. There’s nobody putting pressure on you, except you. Start slow, figure it out, just enjoy.”

As promotional videos from government agencies go, this one isn’t bad. There’s not an over-emphasis on safety and the employees make good points about why they bike. Not sure why the video has to live under the “Sustainable” umbrella. Bicycling is a transportation mode but for some reason agencies love to frame it as an environmental thing for some reason.

What do you think?

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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