BEND, Ore. -

The Deschutes County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee has selected the 2013 Big Chainring Award recipients.

Rick Root with the City of Bend, Andy Barram, Ken Cardwell, Paul Bertanga with the City of Sisters, Jeff Schuler with Bicycle Re-Source, Katie Hammer and RARPD Board, and West Bend Property Company will be recognized on June 24 for their contributions to pedestrian and bicycle friendly environments in Deschutes County.

The awards will be presented at the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners Business Meeting on Monday, June 24 at 10:00 a.m.  The meeting will be held in the Barnes and Sawyer rooms of the Deschutes County Services Center at 1300 NW Wall Street in Bend.

Since 1996, the Big Chainring Awards have been awarded annually to honor individuals, businesses, and public agencies that have made significant contributions in support of better bicycling and walking in Central Oregon. 

This year’s winners include:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Rick Root, City of Bend

Rick Root has offered the citizens of Bend a 19-year career focus on creating a transportation system that is safe and multimodal.  He has championed many small and large projects, key policy changes, and bike-ped master plans that will forever change the fabric of our community’s transportation system.  Rick’s strong voice ensured the multimodal choice in the community.  Here are just a few of the highlights from this long career:

• Rick Root’s groundbreaking efforts on roundabouts have allowed the city to develop policies requiring that roundabouts be considered first when assessing intersection control alternatives. 

• Promoted Context Sensitive Design as a key feature of roadway design.  The strongest example of this was for the Southern River Crossing, now known as Reed Market Road.  The design included roundabouts, wide sidewalks, medians with landscaping, trail crossing elements, and built-in speed reduction (raised curbs for a secure bike ride) that became the first Cycle Track in the state of Oregon. 

• Achieved design and construction of the undercrossing of Highway 20 at Pilot Butte State Park.  He was the stalwart champion with ODOT and city administration to include this feature in the project.

• Ensured that there is a Trail Master Plan Developed and adopted by the city and park and recreation district. 

• No widening policies on minor arterials.  This “Policy 21” effort was developed by Rick Root to ensure that these roadways are now and forever walkable and crossable by both people on foot and bike.

• Landscaped medians.  This policy has allowed median refuges to exist at most crossings of arterial and collector roadways.

• The “Skinny Streets” policy.  Rick Root worked with the community and the fire department to reduce the city’s local residential street width requirement.  The skinner streets allow parking, contained speeds, fire department circulation, and enhanced pedestrian and bicycle safety in residential areas.

• Championed and ensured that developers created connections between neighborhoods.

• Ensured that a walking network of planned connections was adopted into the Transportation System Plan.

• SDC funding of sidewalks and bicycle facilities.  Mr. Root worked to ensure that capacity enhancements in Bend could be defined to allow the inclusion of walking and biking facilities. 

The BPAC dedicates this award to Rick Root so that his strong and ever-present efforts to improve walking and bicycling conditions do not go unnoticed.  May we may each intensify our own efforts to ensure his rich legacy is carried out into the future, achieving a walkable and bikeable town for people of all ages and abilities.

Peter Hanson Memorial Award: Andy Barram

Andy Barram has always had a love for cycling and a long history of volunteering.  In recent years, his impact on promoting cycling in the Deschutes County area has grown so far and so fast, the BPAC believes he deserves recognition.  Mr. Barram’s long history of volunteering includes groups and events such as Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA), Tour Des Chutes, Cascade Cycling Classic, Pole Pedal Paddle, USACycling events/championships, Horse Butte 10 Miler, Dirty Half, Peterson Ridge Rumble, Thrilla Cyclocross Series, World Bicycle Relief, and more.  Mr. Barram launched from simply recreational and commuter cycling to volunteering as team manager for one of the largest cycling teams in the region, Boneyard Cycling.  Boneyard Cycling, started in 2010, is a social club to encourage fun on bikes and support the local community through promoting sponsors and volunteering time to local charities.  Mr. Barram infuses cycling in all that he does, whether by the tattoo of a chainring on his calf, making a custom bike rack for a motorcycle, or welding 90 trophies out of bike parts for the upcoming Chainbreaker race.  Through his passion, you will always find Andy Barram promoting bicycling and walking in Deschutes County.

Big Chainring Award for an Individual: Ken Cardwell

Ken Cardwell is passionate about providing well-maintained bicycles to area students and the homeless community.  Mr. Cardwell spends countless hours fixing bikes for students.  Not only will he fix and repair the bikes, he will then deliver them to the Family Access Network (FAN) advocates so the students can get the bikes sooner.  Additionally, he provides and repairs bicycles for the homeless community so they have a form of transportation.  Providing bikes to this community allows individuals to come in for a hot meal at the Redmond Senior Center or into a warm shelter for the night.  Mr. Cardwell’s passion serves the community daily and faithfully by keeping it rolling with happy bicycles. 

Big Chainring Award for a Project: Paul Bertagna, City of Sisters

Paul Bertagna, City of Sisters Director of Public Works, was a driving force behind the planning, design, and construction of the Santiam Multi Use Path, a 2000 foot long bicycle and pedestrian hard surface path connecting Sisters' downtown and residential areas to the City's major shopping center on the west side of town.  This roadway-separated path provides a comfortable and safe route for residents and visitors to Sisters.  This project is an excellent example of the effectiveness, usefulness, and safety of a wide hard surface path separated from the highway.  The path has received outstanding response from the community and it would not have happened without Mr. Bertagna’s efforts.

Big Chainring Award for Nonprofit Organization: Jeff Schuler, Bicycle Re-Source of Bend