Read the original story here in The Oregonian.
Sam Adolph Oakland, who helped convince Oregon to set aside money for bicycle transportation, died last week at his Northwest Portland residence following recurrence of pancreatic cancer. He was 80.
Oakland is more recently remembered for trying to stop the closure of the post office in Portland’s Pioneer Square Courthouse,
Oakland lived a rich, full life, joining the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, teaching and studying at far flung places from Macedonia to Siberia, and being accepted as a Peace Corps volunteer to Albania not long before his passing. His tour of duty was to have started in September 2015.
He earned academic degrees from Michigan State University, moved west to teach at Eastern Washington State College (now university), then spent much of his teaching career as an associate professor of English at Portland State University. He arrived at PSU in 1967 and retired in 1985.
He was an early advocate of bicycle transportation in Oregon, founding the Bicycle Lobby in 1967 to promote bicycle use and trails in the state.
In 1971, Oakland led a ride of cyclists from Portland to Salem to lobby the Legislature and the governor to set aside 1 percent of highway funds to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. The Oregon Bicycle Bill passed that year, the same year when Oregon followed up its progressive Beach Bill with the nation's first Bottle Bill.
The Bike Bill was sponsored by the late Don Stathos, a representative from Jacksonville in southern Oregon. Gov. Tom McCall signed the bill into law while the paper rested on the seat of a Schwinn Paramount.
Oakland and Stathos were later honored by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance of Portland, during an Alice B. Toeclips Award ceremony in 2001, with the Bud Clark Award for lifetime achievement. Bud Clark, Portland's cycling mayor of the 1980s, presided over the ceremony.
Often characterized as a “political gadfly,’’ Oakland ran unsuccessfully for a number of elective offices, including Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, Portland City Council, Oregon superintendent of public instruction, Multnomah County sheriff, U.S. representative from District 1 and U.S. senator.
He received notoriety in the early 2000s when he led a campaign to prevent the closure of Portland’s historic post office, located in the building that anchors the east side of Pioneer Courthouse Square downtown. He was most upset by the reconstruction of the building’s lower level to create a parking garage for five federal judges.
Despite his efforts, the project went forward and the courthouse’s post office was permanently closed, after a 127-year run as a postal station. The building was closed during remodeling, which lasted from March 2004 until November 2005.
In his later years, Oakland worked as a volunteer park ranger with the U.S. Forest Service at Multnomah Falls and the Zigzag Ranger Station of the Mount Hood National Forest. The Forest Service liked his work so much that he was authorized to lecture in uniform during a stint as a guest university lecturer in Moldova.
He also worked as a volunteer ranger for the National Park Service at Mount Rainier National Park.
Oakland is survived by his wife, Sara; son, Steven Anders Oakland of Arlington, Mass.; daughter, Sasha Kari Tinning of Scappoose; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sister, Evelyn Saunders of Tucson, Ariz.; two sisters-in-law; a brother-in-law; and many nieces and nephews.
-- Terry Richard