Time Magazine: When in Portland…

riding on hawthorne-1

Enjoying the Hawthorne the way locals do.
(Photo © J. Maus)

In our sometimes heated citywide discussions over Portland’s transportation policies, what often gets overlooked is the positive economic impact of our bike-centric reputation. Whether you ride or not, our bike-friendly roads and bridges have gotten us vast quantities of publicity in national and international media. That coverage means more tourists, more customers for locally owned businesses and more money into our local economy.

Case in point is a new story in Time Magazine that points out 10 things to do while in Portland. Number two on the list is to “Ride Over the Bridges.”

The reporter notes that,

“Portlanders love their bridges — except when they’re stuck in their cars waiting helplessly as they rise to let a boat through… You could take a walking tour of Portland’s bridges, but a better way to experience them is by bicycle, just as the natives do.”

The piece also points readers to two locally owned businesses that rent bikes and lead guided bike tours. Check out the article here.

[It is just me, or did the photo editors at Time chose an odd image to accompany the story. It appears to show someone riding the wrong way on the Morrison Bridge. Right? — It was just me. Thanks for pointing that out Elliot!]

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Elliot
Elliot
14 years ago

Looks to me like they’re riding north on the Esplanade…

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

That’s it! Thanks for pointing that out Elliot. Not sure why i was focused on thinking it was the Morrison. weird angle i guess.

Nick V
Nick V
14 years ago

For what it’s worth, bicycling popularity and infrastructure is what led me to visit and ultimately move here in 1998. I didn’t feel safe riding in Atlanta, GA unless it was 5:30am.

Jeff Bernards
Jeff Bernards
14 years ago

Bike infrastructure investment pays off not just for local cyclist but for the tourism industry too. Whereas the proposed convention center hotel ($250 million) meant nothing for the average citizen. Keep “Building It” it benefits more than just the local cyclist.

greenkrypto.com
greenkrypto.com
14 years ago

@ Nick V – yep, me too. Despite the sometimes “Us & Them” attitude in PDX, I feel much safer riding the streets here as opposed to San Diego.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

You’re not entirely wrong, Jon. That section of the Katz Esplanade is divided, which means that cyclist is riding on the wrong side of the center divider.

Coldswim
Coldswim
14 years ago

I think it would be interesting to read an article on people moving to Portland solely due to it’s biking notoriety. Get a cross section of those who moved here several years ago and those who’ve just arrived. What were their expectations and were they met? If they could change anything what would it be? Have any of their friends or family moved to Portland since they’ve come over?

Just an idea…

BURR
BURR
14 years ago

It also means more people moving here, which drives up housing prices and leads to more competition for the few jobs available.

Nick V
Nick V
14 years ago

@ Paul #6,

If I’m not mistaken, the paved part of that section has been closed due to construction for the past several weeks. (What’s THAT all about, by the way?) Not sure when the pic was taken, but that’s currently the only side to ride.

BURR
BURR
14 years ago

That section of the Katz Esplanade is divided, which means that cyclist is riding on the wrong side of the center divider.

It’s a MUP, you can ride either side, there are no directional markers or lane dividers present.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

It’s a MUP, you can ride either side, there are no directional markers or lane dividers present.

Oregon says you’re wrong. From the bicyclist handbook: “The most important rule to remember is ride on the right…It’s the law.” It doesn’t matter whether or not there’s lane markers: You ride on the right by default.

Psyfalcon
Psyfalcon
14 years ago

The “right side” of that divide has been closed, hasn’t it? The concrete part was closed off. Even southbound, I’d also like to avoid the metal.

Not so much the wrong way, really.

BURR
BURR
14 years ago

Oregon says you’re wrong. From the bicyclist handbook: “The most important rule to remember is ride on the right…It’s the law.” It doesn’t matter whether or not there’s lane markers: You ride on the right by default.

that applies to riding on the road. I only ride the grating on that section of the Esplande, because the cement side is incredibly uneven and has other hazards you could hit, like a bridge abutment. I ride north on the east side of the grating and south on the west side of the grating, in other words, I ride to the right on the grating in either direction.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

that applies to riding on the road

[citation needed]. I’m not seeing anything in the law that says MUPs aren’t a public right of way, and the rules of the road apply to all public rights of way.

BURR
BURR
14 years ago

fine, get your panties all in a twist when you see me and others riding the ‘wrong way’ there, it’s your blood pressure, not mine…

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

I don’t slow down for wrong-way riders. If they want to ride into me, it’s their liability, not mine.

BURR
BURR
14 years ago

I don’t slow down for wrong-way riders. If they want to ride into me, it’s their liability, not mine.

so be a doosh, this is Amerika, and it’s your right.

Chandler
Chandler
14 years ago

A few years ago I mentioned to a young lady at the University of Idaho that I enjoyed Portland for the attitude, activities and cycling. She lives there and I am still the visitor.

As the tourist chalk me up for at least $200 per visit. Or at least $1,00 per year if I hit the bike shops up.

As a retiree I am not looking for another job but am a willing participant.

q`Tzal
q`Tzal
14 years ago

Whoo-hooo!
MUP road rage!!!

Could an uninvolved 3rd party shed some legal light on liability when this apparently inevitable “accident” occurs?

Cate
Cate
14 years ago

Bicycling was also mentioned on this companion article – Portland: Need to Know.
http://www.time.com/time/travel/cityguide/article/0,31489,1975826_1975819,00.html

boneshaker
boneshaker
14 years ago

How did “visit a coffee shop” not make the list? Is there anything more quintessentially “Portland” than picking up the Mercury & reading it over a perfect machiato on a drizzly Sunday afternoon?

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

The work being done on the right hand path of the esplanade is to shore up a weak part of the embankement.
http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/index.cfm?a=291720&c=29385

The part with grating people usualy keep to the right and share the path just fine. Even though it’s narrow, there is room for two way traffic.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

Yeah, picking up the Trib or WW instead. Mercury is a Seattle thing.

John
14 years ago

my wife and I honeymooned in Amsterdam and Copenhagen because of their bike friendly ways (among other things, you know, history and culture and whatnot)

dwainedibbly
dwainedibbly
14 years ago

I’m making a serious effort to transfer to Portland, if my employer can make it work. We were in town last fall during Oregon Manifest and fell in love with your city. The cycling infrastructure is a big part of that.

middle of the road guy
middle of the road guy
14 years ago

“Is there anything more quintessentially “Portland” than picking up the Mercury & reading it over a perfect machiato on a drizzly Sunday afternoon?”

yes. Standing outside 2 hours for an over-priced breakfast

Erinne
Erinne
14 years ago

Paul #23: How is the Mercury a Seattle thing? Do you say that because they’re owned by the same company as the Stranger?

Jim F
Jim F
14 years ago

Hilarious on the 2hrs for breakfast post. And it seems the longer the line, the more mediocre the breakfast. If you don’t follow the herd, there are a number of no-wait places with great food. But I am not telling you where they are!

trail user
trail user
14 years ago

I love it! People moving to Portland just to ride their bikes. Hey, the more the merrier, the more the safer. I don’t even live in Portland but ride there specifically to ride my bike.

Jim Lee
Jim Lee
14 years ago

Tom McCall never would have said such a thing!

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

@Erinne: That, and most of the articles are syndicated from their Seattle parent.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

We want you to visit our State of Excitement often. Come again and again. But for heaven’s sake, don’t move here to live.

BURR
BURR
14 years ago

The Mercury has had local editors and reporters and covered local news as long as they’ve been in Portland, so by my count that’s now two things you don’t know anything about.

Erinne
Erinne
14 years ago

Yeah, I agree with BURR. I rarely see any Seattle news in the Mercury.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

Well, I guess BURR wins the dick size war. Good for you.

Erinne
Erinne
14 years ago

Woah, chill on the hostility! Honestly, I’m biased towards the Mercury for various reasons. So please don’t take it personally, Paul.

suburban
14 years ago

This is so good! You and Mike should move to Portland, you guys would love it here. And not as much snow as back in ____________.

Duncan
Duncan
14 years ago

My summary:

Way to go Paul and Burr- I am wondering which one of you will prove Godwin’s Law first….

The Mercury Sucks- the writing is boorish an amateur, the art work half assed, and the hipper-than-thou tude is thick enough to cut with a demi-tas spoon. But it is a local paper.

I have wondered about that same section of MUP and figure that staying to the right (when and if it ever opens) is safer because that is what most people do- now if only the pedestrians would stay to their right too (dreaming). I understand Burrs point (the sight line on the left side is way better) but I really think he should rethink his perspective in light of what the vast majority of users do and expect- that is to stay to the right. Just slow down when you get to the end where the sight line is poor.

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
14 years ago

@duncan
if you are going to be “hipper-than-thou” enough to attempt the french you could at least spell it correctly: demitasse.

PS: whatever the mercury lacks in literacy it makes up in not being a corporate whore like the oregonian and the ww.

confused
confused
14 years ago

I’d like to to clarify something about the picture. I believe the woman is riding west on the north side of the Hawthorne Bridge? You can see the freeway overpass and OMSI in the background. She is riding just left of center in the left half of the lane designated for cyclists. All is well in Portland. Cheers!

Brad Ross
14 years ago

Time Magazine is a corporate whore too, and that’s what started this whole stream.

EmGee
EmGee
14 years ago

@spare_wheel #39
So true, demitasse is the correct spelling in France and many other places.

But this is Portland OR, and demi-tas is a perfectly cromulent local spelling. There is strong consensus among the numerous alternative cultures in Portland that alternative spellings are acceptable. The true Portlander will not allow spelling conventions to curb individual creative expression!

wsbob
wsbob
14 years ago

‘cromulent’? That’s an even uglier word than ‘demi-tas’. Portland’s numerous alternative cultures, if that’s who is responsible for such words…are welcome…to keep it to themselves…(smile).

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

I’m going to have to agree with spare_wheel. A real Oregonian received an education, and acts like it.

ecohuman
ecohuman
14 years ago

Drive a car, take a bus, or fly a plane to Portland–generating more pollution in a few hours than a year of living here–so you can ride a bicycle and spend money in “sustainable” Portland? I’m confused.

Jonathan, here’s a well-known bit about tourism that I think is worth reading:

http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/revista/articles/view/36

And for those that can’t seem to see a problem with “the end justifies the means”, there’s a book written just for you:

http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780143036333-1

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

Never mind that Portland is served by three major Amtrak routes and several secondary Amtrak Thruway routes, and the train is around as efficient as cycling. Amtrak has excellent accommodations for cyclists on most trains serving Portland.

matt picio
14 years ago

Paul (#14) – The rules of the road according to ORS apply to “highways”, i.e. roads. In fact, if they applied to MUPs, that would be problematic, since pedestrians are supposed to stay to the left on roads.

and (#31) – I wouldn’t tell Sarah Mirk that. 😉

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
14 years ago

I don’t see how cycleways and MUPs aren’t roads under the ORS definition. And yes, I agree, pedestrians should be facing traffic on them.