Blumenauer gets ready to ride in
front of the Rayburn House Office
Building in Washington DC.
(Photo © J. Maus)
In some ways Portland’s Platinum designation is more important for America than it is for our city. What the award does is to provide inspiration and an example to cities around the country to start making a renewed effort to mirror our accomplishments.
Just one day after receiving Platinum, U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (formerly Portland’s Transportation Commissioner) wasted no time in sharing Portland’s story with his congressional colleagues.
Below is the text of a short address Blumenauer made on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday:
“There are some people in America that are doing something to provide more choices to Americans, to burn calories instead of fossil fuels. I’m proud that my community, Portland Oregon was just designated a Platinum level bicycle friendly city — the highest level granted by the League of American Bicyclists.
Portland celebrates three decades of consistently applying policies that promote cycling and the third consecutive year of double-digit growth in bicycle ridership. This makes a big difference for real live people. It’s why Portlanders are nine-times more likely to ride a bicycle than the average American. And part of a rich choice menu for Portlanders — with cars and transit and bicycles — which ends up having them drive 20% percent less that the average American family and that translates into a savings of $2500 a year per family that they can spend on education, on housing, on entertainment, on investing back into the community.
I suggest that it’s time to celebrate choices and I’m proud that Portland, Oregon has decided to give cyclists the choices they deserve.”
Blumenauer’s mix of buzzwords and statistics can hopefully go a long way toward convincing more Washington lawmakers that bikes are a cheap, simple, and readily available solution to many of the problems facing our country.
His staffers sent me a link to the video and I snipped out the audio below for your listening pleasure (there’s one hiccup about 3/4 way through, sorry).