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Bike Plan: What to expect from City Council

Posted by on February 4th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I thought it’d be fun to take a quick look at what you might hear from Mayor Adams and his colleagues on City Council at the 2030 Bike Plan hearing today. It’s sort of a foregone conclusion that they will all vote in support of the plan, but with politics, you just never know.

Here goes…

Mayor Sam Adams

Rose Quarter opening celebration-10
(Photo © J. Maus)

Adams won’t just say “yes” on the bike plan, he’ll position himself as the leader of the troops who brought it to fruition. He deserves a lot of credit for this plan being as good as it is and he has been a stalwart supporter since Day One. Back when he was Transportation Commissioner, he showed up at a Bike Master Plan ride (part of a series of rides to learn about routes and get citizen feedback on them) to show his support when Mayor Potter threatened to de-fund the planning process.

Adams also has a big State of the City address to give tomorrow and you can bet the passage of the bike plan (and biking in general) will be featured in that speech.

Commissioner Randy Leonard

My ride with Commissioner Randy Leonard
(Photo © J. Maus)

I would be very surprised if Leonard voted anything but “yes.” Some of you might recall when I joined him for his bike commute a few years ago. During that ride, I learned he’s a regular bike commuter (he leaves his bio-diesel Jeep SUV at about SE 50th and Clinton and rides the rest of the way). Leonard was also around when Mayor Potter threatened to cut spending for the Bike Plan and I’m sure he remembers all the excellent emails and phone calls he got about that from concerned, bike-loving citizens.

Commissioner Dan Salztman

(Photo: City of Portland)

A “yes” vote is likely. Saltzman doesn’t make bike headlines, but don’t let that fool you. His Chief of Staff, Brendan Finn, is probably the second most bike-oriented City Hall staffer (behind Adams’ Chief of Staff Tom Miller). Saltzman also did a fair amount of work on the Community Policing Agreement between the police bureau and the bike community so he understands some of the issues faced by people who ride bikes.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz

CRC Rally-104
(Photo © J. Maus)

Of all the voters today, she’s the only one who I could see who might possibly consider voting “no” (but I doubt it). During her Council campaign back in May, she told me she’s “not a cyclist” and because of that, she can hear other perspectives. If she listens to some of those perspectives, there’s a chance she might heed the misplaced hysteria sweeping the city about how “expensive” the bike plan is. If there’s one thing Fritz is known for so far, it’s that she guards taxpayer money (she was the sole “no” vote on yesterday’s Major League Soccer proposal).

Commissioner Nick Fish

Tour de Ladd-8.jpg
(Photo © J. Maus)

A definite “yes.” Fish gets the bike thing. He may not be a regular rider (he walks to the MAX from his home in Irvington), but his actions and record during his tenure thus far lead me to believe he’ll be strongly in support of the plan. It’s also worth noting that he counts Alta Planning CEO Mia Birk (who could be called Portland’s #1 bike supporter) as a close, personal friend.


As you can tell, the 2030 Bike Plan will surely be passed today. But remember, with their “yes” votes, Council members are not taking much of a risk — the plan doesn’t actually commit the city to spending any money. Once the glowing rhetoric settles, let’s see what concrete actions Mayor Adams and the rest of council take to fulfill the plan’s vision.

Stay tuned for live coverage of the Bike Plan hearing and vote from City Hall beginning with the rally at 1:30 and the hearing at 2:00.

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Comments
  • carlos February 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Fritz votes no. Although, I love the fact that she is the one that questions every detail of a proposal, she has a habit of liking nothing.

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  • Joe Adamski February 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I think you misread Amanda. Yes, she is critical of spending priorities. Yet her biggest concerns are health and economic equity issues.. where the BMP and cycling in general shines.

    We will find out soon.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) February 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    not a misread Joe… an incomplete read. I didn’t have time to share that about her.. but I agree with you!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

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