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My opinion: How Portland lost its biking mojo — and how to get it back

Posted by on April 17th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Bike traffic on N. Interstate

(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

This week has been somewhat cathartic for me.

The debate sparked by a petition to have Portland’s coveted Platinum bicycle-friendly city status stripped away has led to a very needed discussion.

“Biking is OK here; but OK is not good enough in a city with our potential.”

For years here at BikePortland we’ve been trying to help people understand that Portland has lost its biking mojo. Don’t get me wrong, biking is OK here (especially compared to other U.S. cities); but OK is not good enough in a city with our potential. And to get where we want to go, I think we have to get real about where we are.

On that note, here’s a bit of history…

2008 was a Golden Year for bicycling in Portland. Or you could say it was platinum. From our first Sunday Parkways, our victory as the first big city to be named a Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community; to the election of bike-riding mayor Sam Adams, that year capped a great run for Portland that had lasted over a decade. We were on a serious roll.

But as the accolades and #1 rankings poured in, so did complacency. Portland had enjoyed a bike-positive reputation for so many years — we were such a beacon in the biking darkness that defined America — that we began to spend too much time talking about it. It’s hard to ride fast with one hand on the bars and one hand patting yourself on the back.

That complacency left us vulnerable.

Just weeks after new Mayor Sam Adams brought a circus to City Hall (literally) and the bike party was just about to begin in earnest, everything changed. Adams lied to a reporter about the nature of his relationship with Beau Breedlove and the ensuing scandal nearly swept him out of office.

The scandal and its aftermath felt like a punch in the gut to the large majority of Portlanders who voted for Adams. And perhaps more importantly, if he believed in your pet issue, it severely compromised the power he’d need to push for it.

Portland was ready for a biking boom, but its most important leader was suddenly out of the game.

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After the scandal I watched how the local media and my fellow Portlanders took every opportunity to go after cycling as a proxy for expressing their disdain for Adams (especially as it became clear he wouldn’t resign even after our local paper of record wanted him to).

“Who is Portland’s next Earl Blumenauer, Sam Adams, or Bud Clark? Portland needs a new champion for cycling.”

The years that followed have seemed like one bike-related controversy and PR misstep after another: the Southeast Holgate bike lane fiasco (which was a non-troversy fueled more by scoring points against Adams than hating on bikes); the “sewer money for bikeways” mantra that accompanied the misplaced hysteria over our “$600 million bike plan”; the loss of our #1 Bicycling Magazine ranking (twice); the long and bruising process for the Williams Ave project; our failure to launch a bike share system, and so on.

With so much negative political baggage and controversy in the not too distant past, it should come as no surprise that the new crop of faces now in City Hall don’t want to have anything to do with cycling.

When Portland Mayor Charlie Hales gave his State of the City address just a few months ago he didn’t mention bicycling in any shape, way or form.

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Amanda Fritz has stood by as her bureau has (so far) missed a huge opportunity to usher in a new era of user equality in our parks and open spaces. Her handling of the mountain biking issue is indefensible and shows a troubling lack of respect for cycling and the people who love it.

Commissioner Steve Novick come into his role as leader of the transportation bureau with some momentum. But he has yet to introduce one interesting or inspiring proposal that could light a fire under the tens of thousands of Portlanders who get on a bike every day.

I think this apathy around bicycling — real or perceived — from our current political administration is at the heart of the frustration that has led nearly 600 people to sign to Will Vanlue’s petition. It’s not the only thing causing concern for Portland’s everyday riders, but to me it feels like the biggest thing.

The good news is I feel like Portland has moved past the tumult of the past few years. We’re ready to move on.

The big question is, who is Portland’s next Earl Blumenauer, Sam Adams, or Bud Clark? Portland needs a new champion (or three) for cycling. Someone to put a vision on the table and stop at nothing until its achieved. It doesn’t have to come from City Hall, but it has to come from somewhere.

I signed the petition, but I can also still say with confidence that if you love bicycles, there is no better place to live than Portland. From our vibrant local bike industry to our scrappy street activists, creative ride leaders and entrepreneurs, bike-inspired artisans, bike-friendly local businesses, and more — bicycling is woven into the fabric of this city.

If I were an investor, I’d put my money on bikes in Portland: The fundamentals are strong, it has a solid history of performance, it has a reliable (yet a bit outdated) distribution system, a healthy brand and excellent position in the market. All it needs is a few tweaks, an infusion of capital, maybe some new faces in upper management, and it will soon become a juggernaut.

— Stay tuned as Michael and I bring you a new series on how Portland can come roaring back to the front of the peloton. In addition to original stories and reporting, we’d love to publish guest articles, so please get in touch if you have a perspective to share!

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Adam H.
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Adam H.

Refusing to talk about bikes because a disgraced former mayor encouraged bikes is irrational.

Paul Manson
Guest
Paul Manson

I also think some macroeconomic issues get glossed over explaining challenges. 2008 was remarkable for a number of other reasons. 2007 was the beginning of the housing crash. 2008 was also the first year personal income tax receipts dropped in Oregon. Revenue fell for the years following. It is important to remember the whole system ground to a halt on the revenue side of things.

EngineerScotty
Guest

It’s interesting to compare this to the backlash against TriMet, and specifically Portland’s rail transit. (Including Portland Streetcar, even though that’s a City of Portland project, not a TriMet project).

The crash pulled out the rug from a lot of public entities, and set off a furious game of musical chairs in what used to be a nice round of kum-ba-yah. In Portland’s transit shop, we had WES (which even in good times was a poorly conceived project) and the Green Line opening right after the sh*t hit the fan–two new services that TriMet had to operate, at the same time revenues went south. Bus service was cut tremendously, and many critics of the agency (the transit union, OPAL, and right-wing critics as well) were all happy to pile on with the meme that “TriMet is building expensive toy trains while neglecting bus service”. Wasn’t quite how it happened, but it sure looked like the result. A few other PR debacles (rising costs on the Orange Line, several high-profile accidents, the controversy around Neil McFarlane’s pay raise, and continued haggling with the union) contributed to the issue.

Now, almost a decade later, TriMet finally seems to be recovering from all the bad press. It’s made labor peace; PMLR is coming in under budget (if only slightly), and service is being restored. The mobile ticketing app is a success, and the new electronic ticketing system will come online in two years. And TriMet is starting to convince riders that yes, it cares about its bus system (and operations in general) too.

Bike infrastructure, obviously, is far cheaper than rail transit, so should be a comparative no-brainer. But one misstep that Adams made–not in his choice, necessarily, but in how he presented it: neglecting (or de-prioritizing) street repair. This allowed foes of alternative transportation (and there are many who are well-heeled) to deploy the asinine “war on cars!” rhetoric. And Adams did step in that turd, and got it all over him. It’s one thing to decline to do highway expansions; but pothole-filled streets affect everybody, not just motorists. And give rise to the belief that the basic functions of government are being neglected.

The need for continual street repairs–and the costs thereof–is a major argument for bikes, after all. Bikes do not damage the streets like automobiles (and especially trucks and buses) do; keeping smooth layers of asphalt is an expensive proposition.

EngineerScotty
Guest

One other thing worth mentioning, and I’ve mentioned it before:

Many bike activists supported Jefferson Smith in 2012. Hales may well view the bike community outside his core constituency, if not as outright hostile. He certainly feels (and acts like) he doesn’t owe bike riders a thing. Nor does he seem to fear the biking community very much.

Having your guy in the mayor’s office–and having him (or her) not being damaged goods–is vitally important to getting your agenda through.

shannon
Guest
shannon

Let us not forget however, what a trainwreck Jefferson Smith was revealed to be. His anger management issues — attacking someone on the bball court, hitting a woman, etc. — undid his campaign. Thus, Charlie Hales, The Administrator, appeared the most sensible (if uninspiring) choice for many voters (as proven by the vote tally).

I’m not sure there is anyone on the current horizon that is going to be cycling’s “guy.” But perhaps that’s because cyclists have not formed into an identifiable voter pack, as other groups have done. Organizing proactively during the next election cycle could perhaps seed more recognition and thus more respect from candidates and eventual office-holders.

For instance, what if BP ran pre-election interviews asking hard specific questions of each candidate around our interests similarly to what Street Roots does? (Maybe this has been done here and I’m not remember it.) What if BP created a voter’s guide like the WW does? What if we invest in yard signs for BP-endorsed candidates announcing that cyclists are voting for this bike-friendly person? These are just off-the-cuff ideas at seeding visibility and therefore political clout, and I’m sure there are many more (that do not put the entire burden on BP).

Personally, “Amanda Fritz, we are coming for you” is the mantra that I’ll be mouthing daily as mention of the next election begins to heighten.

SEO
Guest
SEO

“[P]erhaps that’s because cyclists have not formed into an identifiable voter pack, as other groups have done. Organizing proactively during the next election cycle could perhaps seed more recognition and thus more respect from candidates and eventual office-holders.” […]

THIS. We need a bicycle party just as you describe here. I hope this idea catches fire. 🙂

Amy
Guest
Amy

I’ve been pitching the idea of an active transport super PAC.

Paul Cone
Guest
Paul Cone

Sorry, I don’t see how taking more potshots at Jefferson adds to this discussion.

Adam Herstein
Guest
Adam Herstein

Good thing bike infra is cheap! Oh wait…

Pete
Guest
Pete

Bingo, you beat me to it. Bicycle ridership was up across the entire US, so much so that it was making national news. Gas prices were at some of their highest levels in history, as was unemployment. The stock markets and housing markets were underwater, Obama was trying to jump-start the economy with a massive “stimulus package” that featured a transportation budget targeted at getting highway construction workers back to work (“give ’em shovels,” some analysts were saying), and the Fed started their seemingly endless run of “Quantitative Easing.”

One of the most interesting quotes I heard back then was on a national TV news program where they were interviewing people and talking about the jump in bicycle ridership (which was interesting in itself to me that it made national news). An older man they interviewed in Chicago’s south side said, “You know the world is changing when the Americans start riding bicycles and the Chinese start buying cars.”

IanC
Guest
IanC

Also, gas prices were at historic highs and awareness of oil depletion/peak oil was hitting the mainstream. It was an easy leap for many to promote and participate in biking as it was also a pocketbook issue.

-IANC

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

I signed the petition, but I can also still say with confidence that if you love bicycles, there is no better place to live than Portland. From our vibrant local bike industry to our scrappy street activists, creative ride leaders and entrepreneurs, bike-inspired artisans, bike-friendly local businesses, and more — bicycling is woven into the fabric of this city

I know that city hall and government agencies need a kick in the pants, but is this petition really the way to do so? In many ways this petition is somewhat insulting to all those people you celebrate in this paragraph.

I really don’t think that this petition is going to do any good, and will likely in the long run cause more harm. It is now a VERY LOUD public validation that even in bicycle friendly Portland, those that bike the most, are the most passionate, and most experienced on a bicycle by in large don’t think it is safe to ride a bicycle.

Personally, it is the constant barrage of “safety improvements” that I suspect is the driving force behind the stagnation of bicycle numbers (if that is true- though the greenway traffic chart definitely doesn’t give that impression) after all by constantly calling out for “safer” you are also admitting to those not as deeply involved that it’s not “safe enough”.

And like I said in an earlier post it ends up like an act from “Waiting for Godot”

“Let’s go.” “We can’t.” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot safety.”

Pete
Guest
Pete

“…the stagnation of bicycle numbers.”

I can’t help but think that gas prices hitting $2/gallon helped put a nail in that coffin, too.

Patty
Guest
Patty

I think you’ve missed the most important factor: money. Mayor Hales was a bike advocate back when Mia Birk worked for the City. He hasn’t changed. He came into office during the worst City budget crisis I’ve seen in the years I’ve watched the City budget closely – about 20 years. Not a time to talk about biking without bringing down the ire of taxpayers.

Then take a look at the Feds. What a mess. There was the crash of 2008, and the Tea Party – no federal spending on alternative transportation. Sam Adams spoke well about biking, but the flop of the wonderful bike plan during his tenure is on his shoulders – it was not handled in a way that brought the overall community along. The communication about it missed the fact that the average Joe does not have any idea how much less bicycle facilities cost than those for gas-powered modes. So the overall price tag gave the community sticker shock. Big fail.

Pete
Guest
Pete

“the average Joe”… you mean “Joe the Plumber”? 😉

Yes, you nailed it – transportation funds were being shunted to “stimulus projects” that centered mainly around highways during that period. “Give ’em shovels…”, as I mention elsewhere.

Portland seemed to do OK that year, but I question if a good number of those projects had already gone through the planning and funding cycles before the sh!tstorm hit.

(Incidentally, that was the year I had to leave Oregon to find work, not long after meeting Obama on his campaign trail in Beaverton).

Peejay
Guest

There’s no way we’d all be having this conversation if it weren’t for the petition. You can criticize the approach, but look at the effect! We have the BTA talking about filling City Hall with concerned citizens, we have PBOT responding to every tweet about broken infra, and we have a roiling debate about creative ways to make progress. We also have nearly 600 voices who want the city to know they have to do better.

I am convinced that this has been a net gain.

Vanessa Renwick
Guest

Jonathan Maus, will you run for some position? I know you do tons of good on this site, but perhaps? How about David Bragdon coming back?

Glenn
Guest
Glenn

Well now there’s a name I hadn’t thought about for a while. “Beau Breedlove.”

Pete
Guest
Pete

Sounds straight out of an OJ Simpson trial…

Kevin Rhea
Guest
Kevin Rhea

I’d like to ask, “where are all the cycling related business owners” in Portland when these conversations come up. I’m not talking about bike shops necessarily but folks like Chris King, Velotech, Vanilla, Ruckus, PDW, ZEN, Rapha, Castelli, UBI, Showers Pass, Kool Stop/Jagwire etc etc. I’m constantly hearing the BTA tossed around and what they do or don’t do but I rarely if ever hear anything about the local companies who make their living off riders like you and me. Where’s their voice? Why aren’t they leading the charge to upgrade cycling in Portland? These are national brands with what one would suspect or EXPECT great reputations in the industry as well as locally yet…crickets. Folks like Velocult moved here because of the cycling environment I’d guess and here we are talking about how far we’ve fallen behind instead of how far we’ve moved forward. Where the local outcry from cycling businesses??? Now, add to that the 70+ shops in town and it seems to me city hall would listen if there was a strategic group of business owners who became the force of change in Portland. River City is constantly touting it’s position as one the leading shops in the US, great, let’s “lead” some city hall rebellion how ’bout? If you can create an add for the “420” issue of WW then it seems to me you guys and your shop are into “rebellion”…let’s direct it towards bettering Portland’s cycling culture. Bike Gallery with 5 or so shops in town, that’s serious biz that the city must benefit from, how ’bout it BG, jump on board, let’s get this party started down at city hall. Western Bikeworks, Portland’s largest shop and just opened another big shop in Tigard, how about hearing your voice on the subject.
I admire all the efforts that the “small” folks make on behalf of local cycling but c’mon, let’s call all these business people out, get behind them, hear what they have to say as all of them have some “dollar bill” clout in the local economy and quite often, dollars “talk” while petitions walk if you know what I’m saying.

Timothy Moss
Guest
Timothy Moss

Thank you Kevin.

Anonymous Velotech Employee
Guest
Anonymous Velotech Employee

K Rhea, you’re not hearing from Velotech because only the lowly shop and warehouse workers ride there (and not even all of them, either). Ride as in ride to work. Ride to the store. Ride to the cafe/bar. Ride to the movies. No one in management or the owners ride in any way more than weekend warrior style. The manager of the shops has a stable of bikes that dwarfs the collection of most anyone else at work but *never* rides to work (or anywhere?). That they sell bikes is just a way to make a lot of money, it’s incidental. There seems to be no passion for cycling. Etc, etc.

I’m with you completely though. These are some of the voices I’d like to hear from also. The guys with money because presumably their money has to have some weight, right? Start throwing your weight around. Let us know you give a shit.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Recently, some local shops have gotten involved in the advocacy side of mountain biking and it has been great. Their support not only goes a long way with city leaders, but it also helps to keep the people who volunteer so much of their personal time energized. It validates their effort. I, too, would love to see more organized support from the bike businesses. Where’s their letter to the city in support of all of our efforts? It would be great for someone from the industry to step up and take the lead amongst the businesses.

Chris Anderson
Guest

I think a lot of the tech startups could be “activated” as bike advocates as well, if there was an appropriate channel.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Jonathan Maus for Mayor!

9watts
Guest
9watts

Excellent perspective, Jonathan. I look forward to the next chapters.

Bikewood-Darlington
Guest
Bikewood-Darlington

2015 is the year the longest mass transit/biking only bridge in America opens up to the public in our fair city — not to mention some substantial bikeway improvements near the new MAX, including communal bike lockers. This doesn’t sound like a city that is resting on its laurels to me.

Pete
Guest
Pete

One of the advocacy groups here in California is trying to get a license plate similar to you “Share the Road” plate:

https://calbike.org/licenseplate/

Some of the comments here have me thinking… maybe the slogan should be: “I Ride a Bike… and I Vote.”

kittens
Guest
kittens

I think bikes became a proxy for gentrification panic. Portland is quickly becoming more unaffordable. Bikes came to symbolize a new city and where they went, so to the infill and condo buildings.

Cheif
Guest
Cheif

A proxy maybe but that doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. Seattle has become far more unaffordable, far more gentrified, more condos built for more and more yuppies, and none of those people ride bikes.

lyle w.
Guest
lyle w.

The ironic thing about that is, I’ve known plenty of people who are just scraping by at the end of the month who also drive EVERYWHERE, and would easily get to the end of the month with at least some cash in their pocket if they weren’t spending hundreds on gas/insurance/maintenance every month.

Bikes are just as much of a tool for the poor as they are for the comfortable. It’s just too bad so many see it the opposite way.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Well said Jonathan. I agree with everything except where you say:

“but I can also still say with confidence that if you love bicycles, there is no better place to live than Portland”

Not true. This is still a great place to ride a (road) bicycle. There is no denying that. But not the best. The bicycling mag ratings and petition reflect that. The whole point of this debate is that we used to be #1 but no longer are.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Not true. This is still a great place to ride a (road) bicycle.”

I disagree. Your framing here, if I understand you correctly, is not that pertinent to the Portland of 2015. Most of us don’t ride either (a mountain or a road bike), strictly speaking, we just ride. The fact that all my bikes since I was fifteen have been mountain bikes has not prevented me from commuting, hauling cargo, my daughter, and just about everything else, with them for the past almost thirty years.

Matt
Guest
Matt

I’m just saying there are better places to ride, contrary to Jonathan’s statement.

davemess
Guest
davemess

If he’s talking comparable (relatively) “big” cities though, I think Jonathan is right.
What other city of our size our bigger would you hold up over Portland (even with our woeful MTB access)?

SW
Guest
SW

every time I see this photo .. http://imgick.oregonlive.com/home/olive-media/width620/img/opinion_impact/photo/2015/01/02/16690775-mmmain.jpg I wonder what we did to deserve the current situation.. 🙁
(and how to get out it)

Hope their $7,500/day therapy works.

Bruin Dave
Guest
Bruin Dave

As some have stated above The Oregonian is no longer a large thorn in the side of the biking community. Check out the latest editorial from The Oregonian:

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/04/portland_should_hit_brakes_on.html#incart_river

Here are the final two paragraphs of the editorial:

The second question raised by the assumption that the city will devote massive sums to increasing park capacity surely has occurred to many cyclists. They have seen the city deny reasonable demands for adequate mountain bike trails in Forest Park. More recently, the city abruptly told cyclists they could no longer use existing trails in the River View Natural Area, thereby reducing capacity for an activity with strong demand. Will hundreds of millions in new SDC funds also buy the political will to make the city’s parkland more useful to all those who own it?

The city can address that question quickly by reversing its River View decision and beginning a good-faith effort to develop more mountain bike trails in Forest Park, which is enormous and underutilized. Meanwhile, commissioners can ease the concerns of builders, businesses and those who care about housing affordability by sending the new SDC muscle car back to the shop.

Tom
Guest
Tom

I’m just not sure embarrassing politicians is the best route in the long run. What I suggest is putting the effort into preparing for elections. Put resources into a strong organization to micro-analyze political records, survey candidates in depth, and generate a strong membership base. Make the issue more social and environmental justice rather than just biking, but keep biking as the primary tool for achieving the goals. Then when elections come, rally the membership to staff up just the right candidates. When they get elected, they will remember that they had so many advocates as volunteers.

Dwaine Dibbly
Guest
Dwaine Dibbly

Excellent editorial, Jonathan. I agree completely.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

Regarding portland area representation in Salem.
Senator Mark Hass and Representative Tobias Reed are both cyclists but they do live a distance from Salem. Both are advocates and I am always in Tobias’s face about riding in the Beaverton ares and even in Portland. While they are in session, neither has time to ride.

Cab
Guest
Cab

Get Blumenauer back to town to shake some people up. Half hour with Hales and lay down the law. What we need long term is for him to come back as Mayor at some point.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Yes! He can do more good for the nation by making Portland a shining example of what cities in the US could be, than he can playing games on “The Hill”.
Don’t get me wrong, I love having a voice in D.C., but I think he would be more effective here as Mayor.

roytheplanner
Guest

This article certainly provides a different perspective from everything we read from afar. I’m coming down to visit from Vancouver, BC in about a months time and bringing my bike in the hope of experiencing what all the fuss over Portland is all about. We will see what transpires…

B
Guest
B

“…missed a huge opportunity to usher in a new era of user equality in our parks and open spaces.” What is more equitable that a simple hiking trail that the vast majority of residents can access verses a mountain bike trail that requires special equipment that may residents cannot afford.

Not all parks have off lease areas or kids playgrounds or aquatic facilities, does that make them less equitable? In the grand scheme of fairness and equity I would definitely place housing, jobs, food security, judicial justice, healthcare (not necessarily in this order) and many many more topics ahead of biking verses hiking on the cities list of top priorities.

I feel this is a poor use of equity talk. This, along with the whole “second class” citizens, talk when in the contexts of mountain biking is offense to me when paired with much large social and economic inequality in Portland today.

9watts
Guest
9watts

It is good to keep things in perspective. Thanks.

Brian
Guest
Brian

But none of those bigger issues are under the purview of a local Parks department. I would also place education, sex trafficking, and a myriad other things above the importance of mountain biking, but that isn’t relevant to this specific conversation.

B
Guest
B

I am talking about the language used for this specific conversation so it is germane. I feel that by using “equality” and “second class citizen” for relatively less significant issues like mountain biking conversations dilutes important language used for larger, more important issued such as those you and I have mentioned above.

(Additionally, parks and experiencing homeless have many parallels, but as you pointed out, that is not the topic of this thread.)

Dan
Guest
Dan

To reuse an analogy, suppose the parks department looked at sports field users and decided to appeal only to the largest group.

Remove every baseball park, football field, golf course, and volleyball court, and convert them all into soccer fields. Do not give out permits for use of any of the fields other than for soccer. Would it be an equity issue then?

Nobody is saying that all trails need to be open to mountain biking, or that all parks need to have all facilities. PP&R needs to take a look at demand and figure out if they can reasonably meet that demand, proportionately. 0% is not the right number. I believe they can do better, but it seems clear that they just don’t want to.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

“The good news is I feel like Portland has moved past the tumult of the past few years. We’re ready to move on.” I don’t think Portland’s quite there. Outside a 2-3 mile radius around the Central Eastside, bike-friendly infrastructure is still lacking.

Where’s the support and funding for the big projects that will be needed to bring real change? When is East Portland going on a road diet? When will we finally start seeing miles of protected cycletrack? When will there be a route over the West Hills that is safe AND doesn’t require climbing steep grades? When will the Red Electric gaps be plugged? When will Brooklyn-to-the-River (in planning stages for over 20 years now) get done? When is Barbur going to stop being a deathtrap? When will it be possible to ride across central Beaverton safely?

I’m not sure I see Portland breaking out of its complacency. There’s a lot to do outside the core, but I think a lot of people in the cycling community are reasonably satisfied with the status quo in central Portland. I also think a lot of people outside the community have a vague perception that things are good for cyclists since we have “all these bike lanes”. Actions like the Platinum petition are intended to wake BOTH groups up.

Jonah
Guest
Jonah

Just replace “bike” with “environment” and you have another great article about Portland!