PDOT shares summary of Existing Conditions

The first order of business for PDOT’s wide-ranging effort to update the Bicycle Master Plan, was to complete an Existing Conditions Report.

Armed with GIS analysis, public feedback, and field assessments, the report, “explores the locations, barriers, and opportunities for bicycling in the city.” At this time, it’s still undergoing internal writing and review, but city bike coordinator Roger Geller just released a three-page Executive Summary.

It offers an introduction, a list of positive developments (since the old plan was adopted in ’95), an analysis of the target audience, and a list of challenges. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction,

“…expansion of the city’s bikeway network, combined with supporting infrastructure and promotion has resulted in a city where bicycling is now a regular part of many citizen’s lives…Despite this, regularly riding a bicycle for transportation is still done by only a small minority. Fear of motorists still looms large for most of us…we recognize the many challenges to be addressed if we are to achieve our goal…to truly become a world-class bicycling city.”

And from from the list of “Positive Developments”,

  • Integration between bicycles and transit has steadily improved with the elimination of peak hour restrictions and permits, and the inclusion of hooks for hanging bicycles on light rail cars.
  • Portland’s encouragement programs are resulting in measurable shifts away from cars and onto bicycles and are fast becoming a national model.
  • The bicycle crash rate is steadily falling with Portland’s burgeoning ridership.

The list of “Challenges We’ll Need to Address” includes,

  • Conditions for bicycling vary widely across the city. A “one size fits all” strategy will not suffice to address all areas of Portland.
  • Most Portland residents still feel unsafe riding in proximity to motorists. Similarly, many motorists also feel unsure driving in proximity to people on bicycles.
  • Our bikeway network has been oriented to providing bicycle lanes on arterial streets, which may not be appropriate for the majority of Portland’s population.
  • The provision of long- and short-term bicycle parking is not keeping pace with demand.

And they share this graphic under the heading of “Analysis of Target Audience,”

The “Interested but Concerned” (in gold) are the key target of PDOT’s efforts.

It’s no coincidence the “Interested but Concerned” group (which makes up 60% of Portland’s population) is gold, because they are a very valuable demographic. You can read more about PDOT’s four different types of cyclists in this post.

In addition to this Existing Conditions Summary, PDOT has also released the first issue of their Bicycle Master Plan newsletter.

You can download both documents here:

I plan to bring you extensive coverage of the Bicycle Master Plan update process. This is a big deal, and PDOT needs as much input from the community as possible.

Open Houses start in June, and don’t miss Geller’s Monthly Bicycle Master Plan Rides. The next one will tackle North Portland (details and a route map coming soon).

UPDATE: The BTA says the Mayor has decided to cut funding for the Bike Master Plan. Read their action alert (I’ll post separately about this soon).

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