Many local bike folks (myself included) have been trying to think of ways to talk about the 2030 Bike Plan that clearly explain why it’s so important, without getting into all the wonky details. On that note, I came up with an analogy today (just before going on camera with a local TV station) that I want to share.
Think of the Bike Plan as a business plan. Everyone knows what those are right (if not, check Wikipedia).
So here’s the analogy: PBOT has this amazing product (a bike network) that they know will revolutionize Portland — but without a plan, they’re just like every other entrepreneur with a big, crazy dream. Before they can even approach investors, start hiring employees, expand the product line, reach out to new customers, and so on — they must have a plan.
PBOT is the company, a connected and safe bike network is the product, members of City Council (and Metro and the U.S. Congress, and so on) are the investors, and the stockholders are regular citizens like you and me.
Heck, we can even do a S.W.O.T. analysis:
- Strengths: Tremendous ROI, we have the best and brightest bike researchers on staff, there is already a significant and loyal market ready to consume it, and the product has been thoroughly tested in real-life conditions.
- Weaknesses: It requires difficult cultural and behavioral changes to both our society and the existing bureaucratic status quo.
- Opportunities: To create a city where it’s easier and safer for everyone to get from A to B.
- Threats: Complacency, politics, lack of funding.
The more I think about it, the more I like it: The 2030 Bike Plan is the City of Portland’s business plan for an exciting new product that will transform our city and soon spread to markets nationwide.
Great! Now let’s pass this thing and get down to business. After all, PBOT and their investors will not want to disappoint their stockholders.