“We’re Portland, we lead the nation in bicycling because that’s how we roll!”
— Mayor Sam Adams in his State of the City address today
Portland Mayor Sam Adams delivered his State of the City speech to the City Club of Portland today. In it, he addressed many of the issues facing Portland. His largest focus was the economy and jobs, but he also touched on transportation.
A slide of a new streetcar line envisioned for the Lents neighborhood featured a big, green bike lane. Other mentions of bicycling came later, after he introduced a new, city-managed curbside composting program.
Here is the text from his speech where he mentioned bicycling:
“That spirit of innovation, that spirit of being a living laboratory also goes for our brand new bicycling plan, which elevates our aspirations to one in four trips to be made by bicycle. It is the most ambitious, the most comprehensive of its kind in the country and by the time we build it out we will be on par with the great bike cities of Northern Europe.
Now I know there’s been some chatter about the cost and that’s appropriate and that’s fine. But folks, here’s the bottom line: We can’t afford not to do it!
Think about the cost of any given trip made on bicycle versus the automobile. There is no such thing as a pothole caused by bike. There is no noise, no emissions and we’re getting exercise; which frankly — like yours truly — can use more of.
And even if you never set foot on a bicycle and even if you never plan to set foot on a bicycle, you benefit from completing this plan.
Fewer vehicles, less congestion, reduced pollution – We’re Portland, we lead the nation in bicycling because that’s how we roll!”
Adams also announced that he’ll put $16 million from state revenue (created by the newly passed increase to the gas tax and vehicle registration fees in H.B. 2001) into a sidewalk development fund that will build sidewalks throughout the city. (Interestingly, he also mentioned an anti-tax group who is gathering signatures to repeal H.B. 2001, which would be a very big deal, but it’s Friday and it’s my birthday so I’ll look into that on Monday!)
Enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to peruse our super-magnificent Weekend Guide before heading out.