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Bicycle Master Plan

Visualizing the cost of local transportation projects

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

More than just about anything else on BikePortland, we write about street projects — and, if our records are any indication, you like to read about them more than just about anything else, too.

But what do they cost, really? Sometimes it's hard to visualize.

So we gave it a shot:

visualizing Portland-area transportation investments
Graphic by BikePortland. The area of each circle corresponds to the cost of each project.

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Guest Article: Bikes and the transportation policy debate

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Chris Smith

[This article is written by Chris Smith. Smith is a former City Council candidate and current City of Portland Planning Commissioner with a long list of transportation activism palmarès.]


"Many of the economic interests at the table are simply unwilling to agree (or sincerely unable to believe) that we can grow the Central City economy without growing the vehicle miles traveled (VMT)."

A little over a year ago Portland City Council adopted the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 with much fanfare. And since that time we've had both highs and lows. On the positive side, we've seen some very solid expansions in the Neighborhood Greenway network and development of a cycletrack in the Cully neighborhood.

On the less happy side, as Jonathan has editorialized, we're finding strong resistance to proposed bike facilities that increase safety or capacity at the expense of taking a bit of pavement away from motor vehicles.

Wasn't the master plan supposed to (excuse the pun) pave the way for this? Let's go back to the plan and check. Here's a critical item from the implementation strategy (p. 116 if you have your copy handy): (more...)

BTA asks for more in one-year review of 2030 Bike Plan

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has released a one-year report on the City of Portland's 2030 Bike Plan. In it, the non-profit group points out where PBOT has lived up to their lofty goals and where they need to do more. (more...)

2030 Bike Plan one year old today

Friday, February 11th, 2011
- Download full size -
(Illustration: Mark Young/Portland Storyboard/Concept: Jonathan Maus)

(more...)

Saltzman: Amendment would "jumpstart" bike plan funding -- UPDATED

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
Commissioner Saltzman and his chief of staff
Brendan Finn at tonight's BAC meeting.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman made a rare appearance at the City's Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting tonight in order to present his idea to raise up to $1 million per year to help pay for projects in the 2030 bicycle plan.

When the plan comes up for adoption by City Council this Thursday, Saltzman said he'll propose an amendment to use revenue from the City's Utility License Fee to pay for bike projects. The Utility License Fee is paid to the City by companies and agencies (like PGE, Comcast, Northwest Natural, and so on) that use the City's public right of way to perform a variety of services -- from telecommunications to natural gas and sewer line maintenance.
(more...)

Bicycle Master Plan Part One: The Vision

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Over the next few weeks we'll be bringing you bits and pieces of Portland's forthcoming Bicycle Master Plan for 2030. The plan is being updated for the first time since 1995 and it will contain many important bicycle policy guidelines (and more) that will eventually be folded into Portland's Transportation System Plan.

The plan is slated for public comment very soon and it will likely be in front of City Council toward the end of October. I've been reading through an internal rough draft and thought I'd share a bit of it with you.

Part One of the plan lays out PBOT's vision of "A World-Class Bicycling City". In addition to making the case for why the city should invest in bicycling, it explains the process of updating the plan, describes the latest thinking on "the nature of bicycling" and it explains PBOT's "framework for bicycling policy".
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A look at Portland's future bikeways

Monday, April 13th, 2009
Bicycle Master Plan meeting
More fun with the city's Bicycle Master Plan.

As part of our ongoing look at the City of Portland's Bicycle Master Plan update process, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the new bicycle infrastructure ideas being considered for use in Portland.

The City has published a draft of their "Suggested/recommended Bikeway Facility Types". Many of them won't be news to most of you -- stuff like bike boulevards, sharrows, and bike lanes are old hat. But what's neat about the Bike Master Plan Update project is that it's an opportunity to get some new types of facilities into the city's toolbox. (more...)

Why should the City of Portland invest in bicycling?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
smiles in the bike lane-1.jpg
(Photo © J. Maus)

Staffers and volunteers working on the City of Portland's Bicycle Master Plan update are currently putting on a full-court press to finish what they hope will be the most ambitious and innovative plan of its kind in the country (much like our current one was when it came out in 1997).

Part of that massive effort (which I'll be sharing more about in future stories) is the creation of new materials that help flesh out the case for biking in Portland. Skimming through the City of Portland's website the other day, I came across one such document (I assume it will be used in the upcoming Bicycle Master Plan open houses in May). (more...)

Bike, streetcar plans will hold joint open houses

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

"Both projects are focused on a livable future for Portland. And this joint presentation opportunity gives us an excellent opportunity to specifically address the issue of how well bicycling and streetcar can play together as we build our livable streets."
-- Ellen Vanderslice, project manager for the Bicycle Master Plan Update

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation has announced that the upcoming public open houses for the Bicycle Master Plan Update project will be combined with open houses for the Portland Streetcar System Plan.

Ellen Vanderslice, Bike Master Plan Update project manager, says she believes this new scheme has several benefits. When I asked her why PBOT decided to combine these important events, she gave several reasons.

PBOT has been asked to shave millions of dollars from their budget and, according to Vanderslice, putting these two open houses together is an "opportunity to save the taxpayers money." It's also, she says, a result of, "a motivation for staff to look for efficiencies." (more...)

Two years and counting; Master Plan update effort picks up steam

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
Bike Master Plan update meeting-23
Master plan update project manager
Ellen Vanderslice (committee co-chair
Mia Birk in background).
(Photos © J. Maus)

It's been nearly two years since the Bureau of Transportation kicked off an effort to update Portland's Bicycle Master Plan.

Since that time, the plan has gone through quite a few speed bumps. In April of 2007, just two weeks after the update effort started in earnest, former Mayor Tom Potter slashed its $100,000 of funding. Thankfully, Potter realized the error and restored the plan's funding a few weeks later, but that episode is just one of several things that has temporarily diverted attention from update process at one time or another. (more...)

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