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Deschutes County bike, pedestrian panel announces Big Chainring Awards

Bend bike shop

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Deschutes County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is pleased to announce its selections for the 2020 Big Chainring Awards.

Peter Hanson Memorial Award – Lucas Freeman: Lucas began his bicycle advocacy with a blog covering active transportation. In 2013, he joined with Brian Potwin from Commute Options and Pam Hardy to form Bend Bikes, an all-volunteer advocacy organization. Lucas brought the strength of relationship building with City staff, Commute Options, and other organizations to advocate for people who bike in Bend. This led to collaboration on Open Streets events and city adoption of Neighborhood Greenways. Lucas continues as a volunteer with the Bend Bikes advocacy team and as a mentor.

Individual Category – Ariel Mendez: Ariel Mendez is the former President of the Board of Bend Bikes and currently serves our community on the Bend Parks & Recreation Board. As a member of the Bend Citywide Transportation Advisory Committee, he pushed for a 20-year vision for transportation policy for people who bike, walk, and roll. Ariel continues to advocate for equitable and sustainable transportation planning that prioritizes our transportation systems' most vulnerable users. Most recently, he successfully advocated for the Stay Healthy Streets as the COVID-19 pandemic affected our community. His visible and vocal leadership has informed and inspired others to advocate for people who bike in our community.

Public Agency Category – Sunriver Police Department Bike Patrol Team: The Bike Patrol consists of nine seasonal officers who work full-time during the summer promoting safe bicycling along the 32 miles of pathways in Sunriver. Sunriver hosts thousands of visitors riding bikes each summer. In 2020, despite the pandemic, the Bike Patrol made over 15,000 contacts with community members, providing education and enforcement. Due to their proactive efforts, Sunriver PD received less than 15 crash reports.

Since 1996, the BPAC has presented the Big Chainring Awards annually to honor individuals, businesses, and public agencies that have made significant contributions in the support of better bicycling and walking in Central Oregon. In addition, the Peter Hanson Memorial Award specifically recognizes individuals in the community who have provided outstanding voluntary contributions.

The 2020 Big Chainring Award recipients will be recognized virtually at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23, during a Deschutes County Board of Commissioners’ meeting.

For more information about the Big Chainring Awards, please contact Deschutes County Senior Planner Tanya Saltzman at (541) 388-6528.

Article Topic Follows: Deschutes County

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