Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 7th, 2007 at 4:28 pm
For some reason, an Oregonian article published today about a Portland City Council resolution calling for 50% cut in fuel consumption by 2030 makes no mention of bicycles.
The article was written by Stephen Beaven and has quotes from Commissioner Sam Adams, who usually never misses a chance to relay the benefits of biking. As I read it, I kept waiting for him to mention bicycle use as the perfect way to cut Portland’s fuel consumption.
From the article:
“Commissioner Sam Adams said the future of fossil fuel requires a fresh approach.
“We need to find a new way to maintain the mobility of the city,” Adams said, “given that oil costs are going to go through the roof.””
At that point, I thought for sure the next sentence would mention bikes. I was wrong,
“Adams sees a bigger investment in mass transit to limit one-person car commuters. That could mean expanded streetcar lines, more marketing for car pools or more buses. It could also mean a freeway toll lane.”
The cycling snub did not go unnoticed on the Shift email list. Patrick Finley forwarded it with the comment,
“Will somebody tell Stephen and Sam about bicycles already!? Better than burning less oil is burning no oil at all.”
To which list subscriber Matt Picio replied:
“Sam, at least, is well aware of bicycles…The problem is that people believe that bikes get a much larger share of the pie, and at least right now, talking about increasing bike infrastructure just doesn’t resonate with the general public. If Sam really is trying to be Mayor, then good luck getting him to even mention bikes in non-bike-specific media.”
I’m not sure if this was a conscious political move by Adams, or if he just assumes that bike advocates are already so effective that they don’t need any more help (not true).
It’s also well-known that the business and freight communities in Portland are very influential and unfortunately, sometimes anti-bike.
Has bicycling in Portland become a divisive issue that Adams is trying to distance himself from publicly?
Nah. I’m just overreacting and it was a simple oversight, right?