March 5th, 2014 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: City Hall, Transportation

PBOT's Bike Czar Heading to Portland Streetcar

united_streetcar_10t3_prototype_for_portlandWikmedia Commons

The Portland Bureau of Transportation's bicycle and pedestrian chief has been named the new head of Portland Streetcar Inc.

Dan Bower was elected this morning as the new executive director and chief operating officer of the nonprofit that runs Portland's streetcar system.

Bower is PBOT's division manager of active transportation—which means he oversees the city's bike and pedestrian safety infrastructure.

"We think he'll be a terrific fit," says PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera. "It's going to be great for the continued relationship between the city and the streetcar."

WW reported Tuesday that Rick Gustafson, who has managed Portland Streetcar Inc. for all 12 years of the system's operation, is stepping down. He will continue as a partner at Shiels Oblitz Johnsen, the urban development firm that has played an integral role in streetcar planning.

Bower will move to Portland Streetcar Inc. starting March 24, nonprofit officials confirmed.

Julie Gustafson, assistant community relations manager for Portland Streetcar, tells WW she doesn't yet have information on what his salary would be.

During 11 years at PBOT, Bower has overseen Sunday Parkways and neighborhood greenway planning. In the last few years, he's also managed the repeatedly delayed launch of Portland Bike Share. (City officials told The Oregonian on Monday that bike-share is likely to be pushed back until 2015.) 

His departure will leave PBOT looking for a new manager of bike and walking safety at a time when the city is trying to persuade citizens to pay new taxes or fees to fund those projects.

 
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