Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on November 28th, 2013 at 8:00 am
When the wind isn’t at your back any more, it’s easy to get discouraged — especially when you know how great the place you’re headed is going to be.
Sometimes that happens to people who care about good biking in Portland. Even the ones who write for daily news websites.
But holidays are for taking your eyes off the handlebars of life for a moment and enjoying where you are. And though Portland isn’t making the rapid progress that it once was toward better biking, we still live in the safest, most interesting and (we think) most promising big city in the country to ride a bicycle. Here are three things we’re grateful for about riding in and around our favorite city.
1) Citizen transportation activism is as strong in Portland as it’s ever been.
We’re excited about the new Better Block PDX not just because it’s full of smart people with great ideas, but because we think it’s going to inspire other smart people with other great ideas. After a lull in urban bike fun, enthusiastic new leaders are stepping in. The success of Gateway Green’s crowdfunding campaign has smoothed out the future for a 38-acre urban bike recreation park and established a new way to help pay for projects Portlanders believe in. The city-sponsored Portland Traffic and Transportation Class, now about to wrap up 23rd year, is about to let loose its latest generation of well-informed, well-connected optimists on the city. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is working to diversify their partnerships and membership, the Community Cycling Center’s new CEO says his top priority is to make it easier for people from underserved communities to speak up on behalf of biking and Oregon Walks is building its entire organizational strategy around helping other organizations advocate for walking in their work.
And back in October, over 30 people showed up on a weeknight to discuss, dissect, and reform Portland’s bike parking policy.
In short, Portland has started talking to itself about bikes not just as a way to get around but at as a tool for changing lots of things in our city. We love that.