Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 11th, 2010 at 10:00 am
"... While we support the objectives of the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 that goes before the City Council today, adopting such a plan is far from enough."
-- Opinion from Portland Tribune
With the 2030 Bike Plan up for adoption at City Council this afternoon, there is a fresh crop of stories about it in the local media. Below are links and thoughts to how it's being covered.
The Oregonian's Joseph Rose must be breathing a sigh of relief this morning because the Portland Business Journal has successfully wrestled away his trophy for most misleading coverage of the plan so far. Their weekly "Business Pulse" survey asks: "Should the city of Portland spend $600M to build bike lanes?"
Not only is that question a highly inaccurate characterization of the contents of the plan (bike lanes are so 1996), but it misleads readers into thinking that the City of Portland is about to spend that much money on bikes (which they should know by now is far from the case).
Of course, when nearly every other media outlet has pretty much said the same thing, I suppose all the blame can't fall on the PBJ's editors. I'm not sure what bums me out more about this poll -- the question itself, or the fact that everyone in the local bikeosphere is feverishly sharing the link and encouraging "yes" votes!
On other side of the bike plan coverage intelligence spectrum is an Opinion piece that appears in today's Portland Tribune. The article, Bike plan needs more specifics, combines strong words of support for the plan with thoughtful criticisms. The article's main criticism is that the plan lacks details for how it will impact the larger transportation ecosystem. Specifically, it challenges the plan's authors to identify funding sources and to clarify how bikes might impact our regional economy and other transportation modes.
These are all valid and important questions and it's great to see a local paper using its stump to constructively further the civic dialogue about this important issue.
Today's Tribune also includes a guest 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 bikes.
And finally today comes an article in this week's Portland Mercury by Sarah Mirk. In Gearing Up: How Will the City Fund its $600 Million Bike Plan?", Mirk outlines how PBOT is already increasing it's bike funding budget (compared to recent years), but that it's still not nearly enough to reach the Bike Plan's lofty visions. I think using "$600 Million Bike Plan" in the headline is a bit sensational, but the article itself is reasoned and full of interesting information.
It's great to have so much coverage for the 2030 Bike Plan. I don't think the City's other master plans garner nearly as much attention. I just hope the scrutiny continues after the plan is adopted.
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