Portland earns Platinum; becomes first major U.S. city to win the award

Bridge Pedal, 2005. Portland OR
This photo was taken at Bridge Pedal
in August of 2005. The “Sam” is City
Commissioner Sam Adams, who has
made achieving Platinum a priority.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Portland has gone Platinum.

The League of American Bicyclists will officially announce later today that Portland has become the first major city in America to be designated as a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community. (The only other city to have reached the Platinum level is Davis, California with a population of 63,000.)

The much-anticipated decision came from the League’s Executive Director Andy Clarke via a conference call last week in Commissioner Sam Adams’ office while local advocates, industry leaders, and key city staff were present.

A press conference to announce the news is scheduled for later today.

Portland earned the Gold designation back in 2003 and has been working to achieve Platinum for well over two years. Back in February of 2006, Commissioner Sam Adams launched a nine-part strategy and called together advocates and community leaders to work toward achieving the goal.

This banner hung at the Portland
Bike Summit held at PSU in
June of 2006.

Currently, six other cities have Gold status, 15 have attained Silver, and 49 are at the Bronze level.

As part of the evaluation process, the City of Portland’s bicycle coordinator Roger Geller submitted a 27-page application (available as a PDF on PDOT’s website) that was then reviewed by League staff. Also weighing into the decision were feedback and surveys completed by local cyclists.

The League considers a number of factors — known as the “5 Es” — in making their designations. They include: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning.

The City of Portland Office of Transportation is organizing a press conference today at 10:00am at the Bike Gallery store in downtown Portland (1001 SW 10th Ave.) to announce the news. Expected to attend are Commissioner Adams, Metro President David Bragdon, Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission Gail Achterman, Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer, Assistant Police Chief Lynnae Berg, Traffic Division Commander Larry O’Dea, business owner Chris King, and others.

A celebration party is also planned for later in the week. Stay tuned for details on that event.

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