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Local firm lands contract for Dubai bike plan

Posted by on July 5th, 2007 at 8:08 am

A visit to Alta Planning
(File photo)

Local consulting firm Alta Planning and Design has landed a contract to develop a bicycle master plan for Dubai of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Alta — who is currently working with PDOT on an update to Portland’s bike master plan — has been hired for the four-month project.

According to Alta principal (and former PDOT bike coordinator) Mia Birk, the Sheik of Dubai is very interested in promoting health and fitness among his people. Dubai, like many highly prosperous Arab nations, is facing rising rates of heart disease and obesity.

Traffic in Dubai.
(Photo: Asghar Khan/Gulf News
via Streetsblog)

The contract was landed by Alta principal Michael Jones, who works from the company’s Berkeley, California office. Jones and other company reps (from New York and Los Angeles) will visit Portland at the end of the month for a design review session.

Given Dubai’s penchant for the extravagant, Birk and Jones expect the bike plan possibilities to include fully separated, shaded and mist-cooled bike paths (like Qatar will have), and “Cadillac, state-of-art” bike parking.

An Alta staffer is living full time in Dubai and Birk says he reports that now “it’s terrifying to ride a bike in Dubai.”

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Comments
  • b July 7, 2007 at 7:15 am

    fACINATING. Two things of interest here for me:
    1. small country with lots of money invests in alternative trans infrastructure before the use of that mode is even popular with its citizens
    2. we have more influence than we think- a firm from Portland/Berkeley lands a contract thousands of miles away and has the opportunity to shape the bicycling future of a whole country –

    very cool – congrats to ALta

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  • Anonymous July 26, 2007 at 7:20 am

    This would be great for us expats living here in Dubai. At present, not even kids are allowed to ride their bikes in the various parks here, which is a shame, as they are always empty during the week.

    Riding on the Dubai roads is suicidial.

    Hope this becomes a reality.

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