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Portland’s transportation planning to be featured on PBS series

Posted by on December 2nd, 2008 at 10:01 am

Mayor-elect Sam Adams in a screen
grab from an upcoming PBS series.

Portland is set to be featured in an episode of a PBS television series about the “economies of being environmentally conscious”.

The series, e2 transport, is in its third season. The Portland segment is titled: Portland: a Sense of Place. A trailer for the series — which is being shot in high-def and has a very impressive, cinematic feel (meaning, this is no dry and wonky series) — U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Mayor-elect Adams, and others are interviewed.

In the episode, Blumenauer says, “What was happening across the landscape in the United States with sprawl, congestion, surrendering communities to the automobile was a wake-up call to us in Oregon.” Adams questions whether or not Portland’s “serious amount of money” invested in transit will “see the kind of benefits” they expect. Also shown in the trailer is Ethan Seltzer, the director of PSU’s School of Urban Studies and Planning, who says, “Portland chose a future based on accessibility rather than mobility.”

No word yet on whether or not the Portland episode will mention bicycles, but one source at City Hall agreed that “it would be surprising” if it doesn’t.

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Other segments in the series include a close-up look at Paris’ Velib bike sharing program, an episode on “Food Miles”, and other topics.

Learn more about the series here. I’ve recorded audio from the Portland segment of the trailer for your listening convenience below:
[audio:pbs_portland 1.mp3]

The e2 transport series will air on OPB Saturdays at 5:30pm and on OPB-Plus on Sundays at 5:30am beginning on December 14th. You can also watch episodes on the Webcast page on the series website. The Portland episode is scheduled for 12/22/08.

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8 Comments
  • Avatar
    Andrew H December 2, 2008 at 11:09 am

    The upcoming OPB airings of e2 are listed at:
    http://www.opb.org/programs/program.php?id=18329

    I don’t see a listing that matches the Portland episode… but the OPB.org listings only extend into January.

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    Brian December 2, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    The Broadcast page on the e2 website (http://www.e2-series.com/) says that each complete episode is available on the web for 1 week, starting the day before it is aired. The Portland episode is scheduled for 12/22/08.

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    Brian December 2, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Correction — the webcasts are available on the Webcast page, not Broadcast. The Paris episode on Velo Liberte is available right now.

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    Aaron December 2, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    The trailer is very exciting. “We find that when we reduce road space, traffic actually diminishes.”
    Transportation Alternatives made arguments for this nearly 10 years ago.

    this should be a great series

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    cary December 2, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Jonathan,
    The third speaker in the Portland segment is Ethan Setlzer. He is the Director of the School of Urban Studies and Planning at PSU. He is a smart guy, a nice guy, and he knows tons out the Portland metropolitan region.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) December 2, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    thanks Cary. I added that info into the story. now I know!

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    jon December 21, 2008 at 10:32 am

    whats the latest on this portland e2 program? still on for dec 22?

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    Snowflake Seven February 10, 2009 at 11:31 am

    So I Netflixed the “e2: transport” and just finished watching the Portland episode.

    While the footage used does include a shot of a bike box and a handful of cyclists, little mention is made of the bicycles for transportation or utility.

    Sam Adams, while rattling off various transit stats, does mention the huge increase in bike mode split.

    The episode focuses on the impact of the Streetcar on the Pearl District, including some interesting comments from Michael Powell of Powell’s books. The focus then shifts to the city’s leveraging of the Streetcar and Aerial Tram to redevelop the south waterfront brownfield in order to help OHSU expand without moving to the suburbs.

    It closes with the positive and productive argument that Portland’s transportation and land-use planning are not forced or socially engineered lifestyle mandates. They are in fact providing a choice (carfree city living vs car-oriented city living) that was not previously available.

    And when you think of it that way, our region has not only allowed for the transit-oriented development experiment but also the auto-oriented experiment. Portland proper thrives on mass transit while the experiment of private automobiles continues in the suburbs.

    I wonder what a community of 100,000 would look like after 50-years of predominately bike-oriented planning?

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