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Mayor Adams, bikes, and the State of the City address

Posted by on February 5th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

“We’re Portland, we lead the nation in bicycling because that’s how we roll!”
— Mayor Sam Adams in his State of the City address today

Portland Mayor Sam Adams delivered his State of the City speech to the City Club of Portland today. In it, he addressed many of the issues facing Portland. His largest focus was the economy and jobs, but he also touched on transportation.

A slide of a new streetcar line envisioned for the Lents neighborhood featured a big, green bike lane. Other mentions of bicycling came later, after he introduced a new, city-managed curbside composting program.

Here is the text from his speech where he mentioned bicycling:

“That spirit of innovation, that spirit of being a living laboratory also goes for our brand new bicycling plan, which elevates our aspirations to one in four trips to be made by bicycle. It is the most ambitious, the most comprehensive of its kind in the country and by the time we build it out we will be on par with the great bike cities of Northern Europe.

Now I know there’s been some chatter about the cost and that’s appropriate and that’s fine. But folks, here’s the bottom line: We can’t afford not to do it!

Think about the cost of any given trip made on bicycle versus the automobile. There is no such thing as a pothole caused by bike. There is no noise, no emissions and we’re getting exercise; which frankly — like yours truly — can use more of.

And even if you never set foot on a bicycle and even if you never plan to set foot on a bicycle, you benefit from completing this plan.

Fewer vehicles, less congestion, reduced pollution – We’re Portland, we lead the nation in bicycling because that’s how we roll!”

Adams also announced that he’ll put $16 million from state revenue (created by the newly passed increase to the gas tax and vehicle registration fees in H.B. 2001) into a sidewalk development fund that will build sidewalks throughout the city. (Interestingly, he also mentioned an anti-tax group who is gathering signatures to repeal H.B. 2001, which would be a very big deal, but it’s Friday and it’s my birthday so I’ll look into that on Monday!)

Enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to peruse our super-magnificent Weekend Guide before heading out.

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Comments
  • Alison February 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Did you say that it’s your birthday?!

    If so, then HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! If not, then happy birthday anyway. You rule.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Duncan February 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    “Thats how we roll” indeed.

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  • Stig3 February 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Happy birthday, Jonathan. Thanks for all that you do.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Peter W February 5, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Happy Birthday Jonathan! Here’s wishing you and BP.O another great year!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • DK February 5, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Oh another green bike lane. Yippee.

    Hello people: GREEN means GO in the world of traffic control! In the spectrum of colors, can’t they come up with something else for the bike lanes and/or bike boxes? I can just see all the people with out of state plates wondering what the heck they’re supposed to be doing. Common sense doesn’t appear as common as it’s name would imply. Carry on.

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  • Ted in Eugene February 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    What about the economic argument, that bikes keep capital in our region? If you haven’t noticed, there are no oil wells in Portland. When we buy oil, we send our money away, to be spent by other people in other places. When we bike, we save that money, and we spend it here, probably giving to to people who will spend it here. (I know you guys know this, but gosh, it’s so gorgeous a concept)

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  • SE jimmy February 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Sidewalks get a thumbs-up from me. As a transplanted Portlander, it still suprises me how many well-established neighborhoods have incomplete or nonexistant sidewalks. I walk as much as I bike and use transit, and walkers will always outnumber cyclists. Seems a logical priority.

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  • Biking Viking February 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Happy Birthday -J.
    Just wanted to remind you how much we all appreciate your great work.

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  • Matt Picio February 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    “We’re Portland, we lead the nation in bicycling because that’s how we roll.”

    Best. Adams. Quote. Ever.

    Very well-said. He hit all the major points, and acknowledged the cost without providing ammunition for debate. It would have been nice had he equated the cost of the bike plan compared to the cost of road-building, but he sidestepped the whole issue by pointing out why we can’t afford NOT to fund it.

    The opponents are getting desperate, because their arguments are getting thinner, like a cyclist’s waistline.

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  • djkenny February 5, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    I would love a few side walks in Woodstock. My dog and I walk though plenty of soppy muddy lawns…

    Love the address from Sam.

    … that’s how we role…”

    Awesome!

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  • [...] article by Mayor Adams titled, City can’t afford not to invest in biking. In it, he echoes the feelings he shared about the plan in his recent State of the City address and further fleshes out his case for [...]

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