Warning: this is a 15minute talk. Settle in!
contributor: Genevieve WalkerMia Birk, author of Joyride: Pedaling Towards a Healthier Planet (Cadence Press, 2010), talks about her experience transforming the streets of Portland, Oregon––“bicycle capital, USA”––into one of the most rideable cities in the country, in this TEDxPortland video. Birk wheels her cruiser on stage, unlatches her sleek Nutcase helmet, and launches into her tale of of advocating for environmental transportation as Portland’s bike coordinator in the early 1990s. A funny and engaging public speaker, Birk narrates her involvement with cycling, as well as what it took to convince people in Portland to get on their bikes (Up to 30% of Portlanders are at least occasional bike commuters in certain neighborhoods, Birk says); a reminder that just because a city wasn’t created a cycling utopia, doesn’t mean it can’t be turned into one. Birk now works as a consultant at Alta Planning + Design, where she helps expand bicycle and pedestrian paths in U.S. cities.