Alumnus praised for award-winning cycling program in Portland
June 17, 2011
North Portland’s Beach School
Since graduating from Lewis & Clark, Kiel Johnson BA ’09 has been a vocal proponent of cycling in Portland, effecting positive change throughout the city.
“At Beach, Kiel Johnson swooped in like a chain-cranking Superman. In 2009, Johnson read about a parent who became frustrated by the slow-moving line of cars dropping off Beach students outside the school. The driver sped out of the line and hit two children using the crosswalk…He approached Beach with a safety-in-numbers concept. He drew maps of safe routes and meet-up locations. ‘The first bike train,’ Johnson said, ‘was me and one family.’”
In May, the Beach community set a new record with a 150-person bike train. Johnson has expanded the program to several other schools and launched a website to offer information and resources for schools and families.
Johnson discussed his project and his inspiration in a special segment for NBC.
This spring, Johnson received an Alice Award from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in recognition of his successful bike-train program and his efforts to engage community members throughout the city in conversation about cycling and walking conditions.
During his time at Lewis & Clark, Johnson was a leader on environmental efforts. He participated in the student group SEED (Students Engaged in Eco-Defense) and organized the College’s inaugural Eco-Olympics, challenging undergraduate students to decrease their energy consumption and participate in environmentally focused activities. Listen to a podcast interview with Johnson, in which he discusses his goals for increasing environmental awareness at Lewis & Clark.