Oh, you thought the debate about whether Portland deserves national laurels as a "platinum" bike city was done? That was foolish.

We've now got a rejoinder to the retort to the initial argument, which was that Portland's bike reputation is overblown, and that the city hasn't done nearly enough to welcome a mode of transportation that benefits everyone. The crew that's petitioning the League of American Bicyclists to downgrade Portland's rating spent the weekend looking over a memo from the Portland Bureau of Transportation, detailing ongoing efforts to improve the streets for bikes.

They're not particularly impressed:

"Nothing in the City’s 7-page defense of Portland’s Platinum status addresses the conflicts built into our roads, the discouraging response and lack of accounting for traffic crashes, nor our lack of meaningful progress towards the goals in the City’s Bicycle Master Plan," reads a note bike activist Will Vanlue appended to an online petition posted a week ago (634 signatures, currently). "Nothing addresses the fact that Portland falls short of the objective criteria for the Platinum ranking that’s clearly defined by the League of American Bicyclists."

Of course, this type back-and-forth could go on and on. And being downgraded by the League won't be particularly satisfying for anyone if it happens. What's most interesting about this debate is the conversation it's sparked (like here or here or here) and the notion that maybe people really are dissatisfied enough about where Portland's at to demand something better.

Vanlue and his co-petitioners are urging people to contact the Portland City Council about their concerns. And they're leveraging all this attention to float a list of low-cost options the city should try, Vanlue says.

But we've seen similar bouts of disaffection before, with little appreciable action, and taking 30 seconds to "sign" an online petition during your workday's idle web surfing is different than taking the morning off to testify before city council. So who knows?

If you feel strongly about this, though, Vanlue and others are right that perhaps the best thing you can do is become a consistent, respectful-but-urgent voice in our city leaders' ears. And bring all your friends.

Probably the worst thing you can do—no matter how satisfying: