(Photo: Adam Coppola)
Here’s one way to think about the political battle over housing in growing cities, spelled out Monday at an Oregon Active Transportation Summit panel: it’s got three main interest groups.
One group is social-justice advocates and tenants. These people are generally interested in keeping prices lower one way or another, especially for the lowest-income people.
One group is environmentalists, businesses and the development industry. These people are (for various reasons) generally interested in increasing the number of people living in the city.
The third group is a highly active subset of single-family homeowners. These people are generally interested in maintaining or increasing the value of their property, especially while keeping things the way they were when they bought it.
(Photo: Diane Yee)
As we mentioned in this week’s news roundup, Seattle’s 16-month-old bike sharing system is in a very tight spot.
With the Pronto system taking in only 68 percent of the money required to meet its operating costs last year and the city considering taking it over in order to bail it out, many Portlanders are rightly wondering whether the upcoming Biketown system (which will be operated by the same company, Motivate) could face similar problems.
We talked to some of the country’s leading independent bike-share experts today to get their take. Here’s what we heard.
I’m in Seattle today joining the second leg of a study tour for a group from Indianapolis that’s visiting Portland and Seattle to study neighborhood greenways, the relatively low-cost, low-controversy bike infrastructure Portland imported from Vancouver BC and has built into a pretty solid network on its eastside grid.
A few miles up the road, Portland’s big-sister city is doing something Portland hasn’t yet: charting a viable path to paying for its transportation goals.
The nine-year, $900 million “Move Seattle” property tax levy proposed Wednesday by Mayor Ed Murray would include (among many other things) 50 miles of protected bike lanes and 60 miles of neighborhood greenways over nine years. That’s about half of the projects that Seattle’s 20-year bike plan refers to as parts of the “citywide network.”
For comparison’s sake, Portland’s “paused” street fund proposal included, at one point, an estimated 14-20 miles of protected bike lanes and 40-50 miles of greenways over 10 years. But the possible lessons here for Portland aren’t just about scale (Seattle is bigger by most measures, after all) and the story here isn’t just that Seattle is succeeding where we aren’t (Seattle has a long way to go, after all).
bus, but the variety of contractors is an obstacle.
(Photo: Mark Hogan)
As Amtrak invests in improving its trains to carry bikes, some customers are warning that Amtrak’s buses are falling behind.
The Amtrak Cascades line, between Eugene and Vancouver BC, is both one of the most-ridden regional rail lines in the country and maybe the bike-friendliest. For $5 on top of your fare, you can easily check an unboxed bike to most stops on the line and reclaim it like any other bit of luggage.
The service has been so popular that the hooks in Amtrak’s baggage cars started filling up. So two years ago, the Cascades added more hooks, boosting its bike capacity by 67 percent.
speaking at the 2012 National Bike Summit.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
If you think about it, there’s little question about which disenfranchised minority has the most to gain from good bicycling: kids.
A national conference for people interested in the education, advocacy and organizing of young people who are interested in bicycling is about to kick off just up the road from Portland.
The annual Youth Bike Summit has taken place in New York City for the last four years, but this year Seattle will host its first year “on the road.” Portlanders will be presenting on three of this year’s panels: one by publishers/creators Elly Blue and Joe Biel called “Making Change,” and one from the Multnomah Youth Commission called “Youth Advocacy Initiatives: Transit Justice through Youth Organizing” and one by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and MYC called “Getting What You Want: Advocate.”
The City of Portland is sending Janis McDonald as a representative of their Safe Routes to Schools program.
Over beers at the Hopworks Bike Bar happy hour Saturday, Seattle City Councilor Sally Bagshaw didn’t bother dithering over whether Portland’s Sunday Parkways street festivals are an idea worth spending city money on.
“We are determined to,” she said, waving dismissively at the question.
went down hard in Tuesday’s elections.
(Photo: Seattle DOT)
In Portland, voters mostly take odd-numbered years off. But two races to Portland’s north ended last night in interesting ways, for better or worse.
In Seattle, the deeply bike-friendly incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn lost in a 56-43 rout. And closer to home in Vancouver, Wash, the bike-and-transit-friendly but also Columbia River Crossing-supporting incumbent Mayor Tim Leavitt is headed to a second term.
Portland’s hard-won status as “America’s bike capital” hasn’t looked less secure since it claimed the title in 2005.
The number of Portlanders who get to work primarily by bike was statistically unchanged in 2012, ticking from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent of the city’s working population. Across the whole Portland metro area, bike use held at 2.3 percent.