PBS documentary “Road to the Future” will look at Portland’s path

Posted by on April 27th, 2009 at 10:23 am

Mayor Adams being filmed by the
PBS crew outside Council Chambers
back in March.
(Photos © J. Maus)

An upcoming, one-hour long PBS documentary will take a look at how three American cities — Denver, New York City, and Portland — are grappling with today’s transportation infrastructure challenges.

The documentary, titled Road to the Future, is part of their ongoing Blueprint America series. It will be hosted by award-winning news anchor Miles O’Brien.

Story continues below


They’ve just published a short preview and a description on their website:

“…as city borderlines and suburban cul-de-sacs spread out across the land, there may someday be nowhere left to push.

Blueprint America: Road to the Future, the latest program in the PBS multi-platform initiative on America’s aging infrastructure, examines the growth and development of the American city, and how the country will continue to grow and develop in the future…”

I biked around Portland
with this camera attached.

My family and I happened to be involved with this project. Film crews from New York City interviewed me at length and they filmed my girls and I shopping at the store by bike, getting to school, etc… I also had the strange task of riding my bike around the city with an HD camera protruding from a tripod mounted on the frame. It was strange, and people stared, but hopefully the result will be some interesting footage.

The timing of this documentary is no accident. PBS has timed it to coincide with Congress’s re-writing of the transportation bill. From what I can tell, it will be a hard-nosed looked at the challenges, examples (good and bad), and opportunities that exist to re-think America’s transportation infrastructure.

The film’s producers interviewed a host of experts and leaders including; Metro Councilor David Bragdon, Mayor Sam Adams, Portland State University professor Ethan Seltzer, New York City’s DOT commissioner Jeanette Sadik-Kahn, and others.

Check out the short preview on the Blueprint America website (watch closely at the 19 second mark and you’ll see someone pedaling across the Hawthorne Bridge!).

— This program will air on Wednesday, May 20, at 8:00pm EST on PBS.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

Leave a Reply

5 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
John RussellDavidMikeshantasticHart Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Git ‘er done, PBS!



can’t wait to see it!


They can show how even a city like Portland can have seriously flawed planning (see CRC).

The Road to the Future should not be across a $4B+ bridge.


Sam an expert and leader…? Hope they do a follow up on the recall this summer and the CRC clusterf&(k.

PBS is a great and I will watch.

John Russell

Humorously enough, the caption to the host on our MAX calls it the streetcar.