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APBP Announces 2014 Annual Award Winners

Thursday, September 25, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Debra Goeks
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PITTSBURGH, PA —The Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals (APBP) announced the winners of its annual awards program to honor excellence in the profession at its annual meeting held during the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place Conference in Pittsburgh on September 9, 2014.

The 2014 APBP Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jeff Olson, Principal at Alta Planning + Design, at an all-conference luncheon. Later that evening, Pittsburgh’s own Pedestrian Bicycle Coordinator Stephen Patchan was honored as the Public Sector Professional of the Year. Nick Jackson, New England Regional Office Director with Toole Design Group, received the Private Sector Professional of the Year award. James Wilson, Executive Director of Bike Delaware, was recognized as Nonprofit Sector Professional of the Year. Dr. Adonia Lugo, Equity Initiative Manager at the
League of American Bicyclists, received the coveted Young Professional of the Year award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made a substantial commitment to the profession and who have shown excellence in the field of bicycle and pedestrian planning, design, advocacy, and/or education. The award distinguishes those whose vision and determination have made their communities better places to bicycle and walk and who inspire others to succeed. The Professional of the Year Awards recognize the achievements of four pedestrian and bicycle professionals made during the 12-month period between the summer of 2013 and the summer of 2014—one private sector professional, one public sector professional, one nonprofit sector professional and one young professional under the age of 30.

APBP Executive Director Kit Keller noted, “This year’s five award winners illustrate the range of skills, talents and abilities in our profession. Their peers recognized and nominated them because of their significant accomplishments.”

Jeff Olson is a pioneer and visionary architect, planner and author. Hired as New York State’s first bicycle pedestrian coordinator in 1993, he grew the program from $80,000 to more than $100 million in capital projects. In 1998, he was named director of the U.S. Millennium Trails Program which designated more than 1,000 trails as part of America’s legacy. Jeff developed the nation’s first Bike/Ped Transportation Planning course at SUNY Albany where today he also serves as Co-director of the Initiative for Healthy Infrastructure. A founding Board member of APBP, Jeff’s influence extends to the East Coast Greenway Alliance, Mississippi River Trail and the Grand Canyon Greenway Project. His work at Alta is deep, wide and wonderful. He helped mastermind Alta Bicycle Share. In 2012, Jeff published his first book, “The Third Mode: Towards a Green Society.”

Stephen Patchan’s recent accomplishments include attraction of the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place 2014 conference to Pittsburgh; selection of Pittsburgh for the Green Lane 2.0 Project and advancement of the Pittsburgh Bike Share Program. Each project on its own would demonstrate significant accomplishment for any City or for any one individual. Stephen has been responsible for securing all three over the past 12 months. The City’s pledge to support these projects, given the limited government resources available, illustrates Stephen’s passion and commitment to bicycle friendly and walkable communities, as well as his ability to work within the system to accomplish new and innovative initiatives. Patchan recently moved to Los Angeles to begin work as a Senior Planner in Active Transportation for the Southern California Association of Governments.

Nick Jackson led three transformative projects in 12 months. The Boston Complete Streets Guidelines documents progressive tools in the complete streets toolkit and applies them to Boston. Simple, accurate data collection for the Boston Bike Network Plan – a 30 year vision and five year action plan – was done by bicycling, walking or driving more than 400 of Boston's 700 miles. A $15M TIGER grant for more than four miles of downtown cycle track called Connect Historic Boston was imagined, planned, written and won thanks to Nick’s guidance. Future generations will enjoy this counterpart to Boston’s Freedom Trail.

James Wilson’s vision, leadership and effective advocacy work pays off – in funding, state status and messaging. In the last year, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign helped win $6.3 million in dedicated discretionary funding for cycling and walking in Delaware. The State of Delaware advanced from 5th place (2013) to 4th place (2014) in the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly State rankings (up from 31st place in 2010). James also argued successfully that the Delaware Department of Transportation could stop using the confusing and ambiguous "Share the Road" sign in favor of the new “Bicycle May Use Full Lane” sign.

Dr. Adonia Lugo is an impassioned community organizer who makes “invisible cyclists” visible to the bicycle planning world. As a cultural anthropologist, Adonia recognizes diversity in bicycle cultures and draws out techniques to include more communities in active transportation. Her ethnographic research includes interviews with community leaders of color about bicycling for the Seattle Bike Justice Project. She co-founded CicLAvia and Ciudad de Luces in Los Angeles to empower more street users, and especially working-class Latino immigrants, to get involved in bike advocacy and planning. APBP thanked Dr. Lugo for dedicating her intellect and heart to inspiring equity, diversity and inclusion.