Support BikePortland

PBOT staff, downtown business leaders off to Copenhagen for week-long study tour

Posted by on June 19th, 2015 at 7:36 am

Copenhagen Day 4-30-42

See it in CPH, then do it in PDX — at least that’s the idea.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Top staff from the Bureau of Transportation and some of Portland’s most powerful leaders from the downtown business community will get a first-person view of one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities next week.

“I think it’s worth making the trip to fully understand what we might be able to aspire towards.”
— Art Pearce, PBOT Group Manager of Policy, Planning and Projects

PBOT Director Leah Treat and Art Pearce, the agency’s manager of policy, planning and projects, will join an assemblage of downtown business leaders, city hall staffers and other policymakers for a study tour in Copenhagen, Denmark. The trip is organized by the national non-profit People for Bikes and takes place under the umbrella of their Green Lane Project which aims to get more protected bike lanes built in the United States. In addition to spending five days in Copenhagen, several members of the group will leave early and make a side trip to Malmö, Sweden.

Treat and Pearce will be joined by a mix of city hall staffers and reps from public agencies and private companies. Here are the eight other people who will join them:

  • Chris Warner – Chief of Staff, Commissioner Steve Novick
  • Tim Crail – Senior Policy Advisor, Commissioner Amanda Fritz
  • Lisa Abuaf – Central City Manager, Portland Development Commission
  • Ian Stude – Director of Transportation and Parking Services, Portland State University
  • Owen Ronchelli – Executive Director, Go Lloyd Partnership
  • Debbie Kitchin – Interworks LLC, Portland Business Alliance Board President, Central Eastside Industrial Council Board President
  • Marion Haynes – Vice President of Government Relations and Economic Development, Portland Business Alliance
  • Felicia Williams – President, Portland Downtown Neighborhood Association
  • *John Carroll – Carroll Investments (Central City real estate developer) (*Signed up but had to cancel at last minute due to an unforeseen emergency)


According to Pearce, who shared news of the trip with us in a phone call yesterday, the impetus for the trip is to get powerful political players and business interests focused and enlightened about PBOT’s upcoming Central City Multimodal Safety project — also known as the project that aims to create a network of protected bike lanes downtown. PBOT secured $6 million in federal funding for this project two years ago but is just starting to get serious about starting it. The city hired a project manager back in May and hopes to officially kick off the project in fall and begin the public process by this winter.

20s Bikeway SAC meeting-12

Art Pearce.

By sharing the world-class cycling infrastructure that adorns Copenhagen, Pearce hopes “key constituents involved with the Central City project” will gain a better understanding of “global best practices that will prepare us for making the smartest decisions possible with that six million dollars.”

None of the trip participants are officially involved in planning the upcoming project but Pearce said they are, in his mind, “potential future stakeholders for the project.” “It seemed like it would be great for them to get this exposure prior to a more official conversation.”

PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera said the trip shows that while Portland is, “humble enough to know we still have a lot to learn when it comes to biking and walking infrastructure.” And with no adequate models in North America, Rivera says it’s necessary to go to Europe to “understand how we can improve.”

Here’s more from Rivera:

“This is about making good decisions for the future of downtown Portland. This grant is a huge opportunity, maybe once-in-a-lifetime, so it’s worth investing time and resources to make sure we’re making good decisions and being collaborative in learning together with the business community and other downtown stakeholders… We need to study up and make sure we’re going into it [the project] looking into global best practices… We want to see how we can make the best and safest facilities possible.”

The trip will cost about $6,000 per person or about $60,000 total — about $30,000 of which is being paid for by the City of Portland.

This will be Pearce and Treat’s first time in Copenhagen, but the idea of sending city staff, community leaders and policymakers to Europe on study tours is nothing new to the City of Portland.

In 2005, then City Commissioner (and former mayor) Sam Adams led a trip to Amsterdam with his Chief of Staff Tom Miller (who preceded Treat as director of PBOT). Also on that trip was PBOT Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller.

In 2008, Metro sent several local leaders on a trip to Amsterdam and Copenhagen. And just two years ago, I joined a Portland delegation and leaders from other U.S. cities on a trip hosted by the Green Lane Project.

Asked what tangible things he hopes to bring back to Portland, Pearce said one of the key lessons he hopes to bring back is, “What it took for Copenhagen to evolve from the city it was in the 1970s to what it is today.”

“Seeing is believing,” he continued, “It takes the first-hand knowledge of city staff and key constituents to understand what the world of the possible is for Portland’s central city and I think it’s worth making the trip to fully understand what we might be able to aspire towards.”

Please support BikePortland.

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

  • Allan L. June 19, 2015 at 7:40 am


    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Pete June 21, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

      -Mark Twain

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Lester Burnham June 19, 2015 at 8:07 am

    How much are we being fleeced for this trip while much of the city lacks even a simple safe way to cross a street?

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Spiffy June 19, 2015 at 10:38 am

      the 3rd sentence of the story seems to state that People for Bikes is paying for the trip…

      so the only thing we’re being fleeced for it the lack of those people in Portland… but I think it’s worth it for this free education program…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Spiffy June 19, 2015 at 10:40 am

        a bit further down is this: 30,000 of which is being paid for by the City of Portland.

        not a lot of money for a city…

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Lester Burnham June 19, 2015 at 11:54 am

          But could be used for a much needed signal instead of someone’s sight seeing tour.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Pete June 21, 2015 at 9:24 pm

            Many of these folks have resumes that indicate they are genuinely concerned about progressive planning and development that may benefit all users. Who knows, maybe some of them are actively going there to learn what could be applied to Portland? It’s not like your tax dollars are going to coke and hookers in this case (which has been known to happen).

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Max June 21, 2015 at 11:42 pm

              …after all, look at how much we got out of the last 4 trips!

              Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Charles McCarthy June 19, 2015 at 8:07 am

    $6K seems a lot of money for less than a week, even allowing half of that for high season airfare. Could bike rental in Copenhagen be so very expensive?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • John June 19, 2015 at 8:44 am

      I’m thinking they’re buying all-week passes to Tivoli.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Chris I June 19, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Seriously. My wife and I did 2 weeks in Scandinavia (all four countries) for less than $5k a few years back. $5k for BOTH of us.

      That said, I think Copenhagen is a great place to learn about safe transportation. They really have things figured out over there.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Todd Boulanger June 19, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      The airfare right now is about 2x ($1800 vs $900) what it used to be…and then Copenhagen is always about 30% more than a similar trip to the Netherlands…

      I am sure they will get their money’s worth … just make sure there is a lot of bike time (minimum 3 days to get loose and become aware of subtle design issues)…versus the problem we had during the 2005 study trip with Sam…he had zero time in the saddle as he got called back to Portland for a crisis or “emergency”. It was a missed opportunity.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • J_R June 19, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Meanwhile, back in Portland, the bikeshare languishes, bicyclists and pedestrians are being killed while city leadership does nothing substantive.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • 9watts June 19, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I hope they also bring back a healthy appreciation for real, worthy-of-the-name, gas taxes. Not to mention the out-of-this-world car taxes the Danes have saddled themselves with. Nice bike infrastructure is only half the picture. Just about every other country in the world knows how to raise the money for this, but we for some unknown reason think we are special, can avoid this.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Mark June 19, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Thank you for mentioning this. The (rightfully) high cost of licensing and motor vehicle ownership is one thing that causes drivers to take their duty behind the wheel more seriously.

      The proper (at least $4 gallon) fuel tax pays for all of this efficient infrastructure. Drivers chastise us constantly for not paying our way, when it’s painfully clear that they’re not paying their way either, not even close. I get so frustrated by the lack of political will in this country. I guess it doesn’t help that the Koch brothers and others like them flat out own the politicians. *sigh*

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • PaulaF June 19, 2015 at 8:15 am

    “Seeing is believing” I would say, yes, if this was being done pre-internet.

    Do we have specific changes that have been implemented based on the past trips?

    Are there specific questions the attendees are taking with them that will be answered during this learning visit that tie directly into problems they see with implementing the central plan?

    (Note: I have worked in places where these “important” business trips were more a facade for a fun trip. The business did not make any real changes based on the justification for the trip.)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Spiffy June 19, 2015 at 10:46 am

      didn’t we send a bunch of people over there a few years ago? what changed did they make when they got back?

      why do they have to travel there? we can gather plenty of data to move forward on our own without having to travel… wait until we’ve already failed at trying their methods…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • paikiala June 19, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      SW Broadway parking protected cycle track after Rob Burchfield had a fellowship that included Scandinavia.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Eric June 19, 2015 at 3:15 pm

        That does not speak well for what will come of this trip. We would all be better off if they rode bikes for the same number of hours in Portland.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Nick Falbo June 21, 2015 at 9:47 am

          In 2009 when the Broadway cycle track was installed the state of the practice in bikeway design was dramatically different. There were only a few small segments of cycle tracks in the United States, and the NACTO bike guide hadn’t yet been written.

          To have the traffic engineer sign off on this back then was a big deal. Maybe we’ll see similar leaps of faith come as a result of this new trip.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Wells June 19, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      The article mentions goals. Costs must include special tour hosts, engagments, stays, tours, dining, all costly premiums but necessary for representative emissaries there to learn. Add education to bill of fare.

      Start your favorite worst bike intersection list.
      Make it a long list. Pick many contenders for bike rebuilds.
      Excellent article. Voi la’

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • dachines June 19, 2015 at 8:33 am

    To make this trip truly worthwhile, I think that each person who is going should be mandated to get about in Portland by only biking, walking, or public transit for a full week prior to the trip. Being reliant solely on those modes for a week in Portland and then seeing how that works by comparison in Copenhagen would likely make the differences that much more profound and compelling.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • ethan June 19, 2015 at 8:51 am

      That’s a great idea! Although, I would hope that people from the bureau of TRANSPORTATION would already know the ins and outs of active transportation in Portland.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Spiffy June 19, 2015 at 10:47 am

        I rode a bike with 2 of them on Wednesday during the Bike Non-Profit ride… they knew…

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Spiffy June 19, 2015 at 10:48 am

          granted, they weren’t top level players like the ones going on this trip…

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • paikiala June 19, 2015 at 12:09 pm

            Leah and Art bike daily.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 19, 2015 at 9:50 am

      So glad you brought this up dachines.

      I think, for people who don’t currently do it, the perspective gained by riding on central city Portland streets is just as valuable as traveling to Copenhagen. Actually, if I had to choose one, I’d say it’s probably more valuable.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • AC June 19, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Are they really going to see/experience/realize anything that they can’t see/experience/realize by spending an hour on the internet? I don’t think so. It seems pretty clearly established what it took for Copenhagen to get to where it is in terms of transportation.

    I just think of it as training for some lucky PBOT staff. $6k/person for a week of corporate training isn’t unheard of.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • David June 19, 2015 at 9:40 am

      This trip is getting a lot of hate but it is absolutely critical to see world-class infrastructure firsthand in order to truly understand it and, more importantly, get excited about it. It’s simply not possible to look at pictures and watch videos and “get it.” I think it’s a smart move to get downtown stakeholder excited about what an actual protected bikeway network looks and feels like. You have to go. There’s no substitute.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Caesar June 19, 2015 at 11:15 am

        I agree. Too many people convinced that smartphone apps and YouTube videos are an adequate substitute for real life experiences.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Brad June 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm

          What steams folks is that BikePortland does one or two stories a year about a delegation from the City of Portland going overseas to see how it is done. By this time, I have to assume that every employee pulling a city paycheck has made at least one trip to the promised land in the past decade. It’s time to stop studying and high time to start designing and building. Our roads seem to be getting more dangerous each week and our officials seem to need more “inspiration” and knowledge. How many more dead riders and pedestrians before PBOT starts pouring concrete, adding signals, lowering speed limits, and creating actual safer streets?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • wsbob June 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm

        “…to see world-class infrastructure…” david

        Not ‘world class infrastructure’, but rather, Copenhagen and Amsterdam infrastructure. Swedish infrastructure. All very small countries, especially compared to the U.S. Citizens in this country could find the money to build thpse countries’ infrastructure here, if they truly believed it was worth it. So far, it seems very clear that they don’t.

        Portland can’t get even make a sufficiently strong case for a basic close in neighborhood cycle track system. New development in cities just outside of Portland, South Cooper Mtn in Beaverton for example, also seem only to incorporate minimal bike supporting infrastructure into their design and planning.

        Sounds like a really fun trip for city officials to be taking. Hopefully, they’ll figure out from what they see and hear there, some secret to persuading people here, that very serious commitment towards scaling new road infrastructure more than typically towards walking and biking rather than motor vehicle use, is worth it.

        So far, that doesn’t seem to be happening much beyond a very small degree; Examples; According to news reports, the schedule for construction of the separated bike lane on Walker Rd adjoining Nike’s property has been advanced. Farmington Rd close to Beaverton, will finally have continuous bike lanes in the not too distant future.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Dan June 22, 2015 at 1:28 pm

          On the west side, traffic planning is done to suit the type of traffic we HAVE, not the type of traffic we WANT TO HAVE. It’s fresh out of the 1950’s playbook.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Glen Koorey June 19, 2015 at 10:33 am

      I have to agree with David, looking at pictures/videos/info on the internet will only get you so far. You need to see things in context (i.e. will it work like that in my home town?) and to also hear firsthand from the local experts about the “behind the scenes” stories to their implementation and operation.

      I’m currently on a three month sabbatical tour of Europe looking at a number of fantastic (or not so fantastic) cycling cities (no Copenhagen this time, but I had a month in The Netherlands). I can certainly vouch for the fact that I have picked up a huge amount of learning from seeing things on the ground and talking to the locals (plus I have my own customised collection of 2500+ photos & videos for future use too).

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • VTRC June 19, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Maybe they could spend some time with Danish driver education, driver training, and maybe spend some time at the Danish DMV. That’s a side I haven’t seen from these trips to Copenhagen.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Spiffy June 19, 2015 at 10:49 am

      I just talked with an adult cyclist who just got his Oregon license and said there were no questions on the test related to pedestrians or cyclists…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Mark June 19, 2015 at 11:03 am

        …out of only a dozen or so multiple choice questions. Our driver licensing in this country is a joke, except that it’s not really funny.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • VTRC June 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm

          It’s not just the licensing test though. It’s also initial training, and retraining. How can we make the first better, and the latter… well I think the latter would be good.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • wsbob June 19, 2015 at 5:41 pm

          “…Our driver licensing in this country is a joke, …” Mark

          What about driver licensing in the U.S. do you think is in need of improvement? If you were to suggest training and testing to qualify for the license somehow be made more comprehensive, how much more over what exists today in the U.S., do you believe it should be? Criticizing driver training and testing in the U.S. is easy…offering realistic ideas that could actually make it better, seem far tougher to come by.

          And then there’s the very serious reality to consider, that people taking to the road with bikes, have no obligation whatsoever to undergo any training confirmed by state testing to help prepare them for safe use of a bike on the road amongst motor vehicle traffic.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Pete June 22, 2015 at 10:02 am

            “What about driver licensing in the U.S. do you think is in need of improvement?”

            What’s the speed limit at a railroad crossing? How many days do you have to inform the DMV that you’ve sold your car? Do you turn your wheels in or out when parking on an uphill street with a curb?

            To start with, most exam questions and educational materials are simply rules with some illustrations. As a result you get rote memorization of laws (that differ between states and get changed periodically as well). What we could use more of are a) descriptions of challenging driving situations, or b) just about anything to do with the way bicyclists use the roadways. Heck, with modern computers and simulation technology, you could even be tested driving a virtual car on roadways with rain, crosswalks, stale green lights, and glaring sunsets. You could even ride a virtual bicycle with drivers passing you and then taking a sharp right turn without signalling in front of you… you’d get points for not crashing into them!

            Secondly, and you and I have had this conversation before, since most bicyclists are also drivers, you have an avenue to teach bicycling safety to everyone. When I was growing up you had to take driving lessons in high school – they were part of the public education program. You never had to take bicycling lessons, and you couldn’t even if you wanted to. (Fortunately today we have programs like the SRTS National Partnership to deliver bike safety training to children, though its funding continues to be in jeopardy).

            You and I completely agree about the desire to educate bicyclists rather than unleashing them on the roadways unprepared, yet I see DMV training (and periodic retesting) as a much more viable alternative than a mandatory bicyclist licensing program. Most DMVs already have either a section on bicycling in their driver’s manuals, or a dedicated bicyclist manual. The problem as I see it, though, is that they don’t align with programs like LAB’s Ride Smart or iBike’s Bicycle-Driver’s training or even NHTSA visual “Thumbs-Up” approach ( Instead, they continue to emphasize that we must obey all the same rules as drivers, stay far to the right at all times (with some exceptions), and use our hand signals.

            Here, take some of these, just for fun and see how you do:

            Now, tell me how well those tests prepared you for driving up on a bicyclist riding in the middle of your traffic lane.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • VTRC June 23, 2015 at 10:12 am

            I would like to see a written test every time the license is up for renewal, with questions focused on recent changes and judgement.

            Honestly, I’d be fine without a test if we could get people to read about current changes, issues on the road, and have some level of critical self reflection about their driving. But since that won’t happen, lets see some more testing.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bart June 19, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I think this is great, especially for those folks that aren’t daily riders or see people on bicycles as obstacles or as “them”. I would imagine witnessing bikes on the scale that Copenhagen accommodates is hard to fathom for some of the people on that list, so here’s hoping the experience opens some minds as to what’s possible in Portland!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John R. June 19, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Less study, more action.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • 9watts June 19, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Maybe it doesn’t need to be so dichotomous?
      How about study (of best practices) followed by action (back home)?

      The problem I’d have is if we send folks there and they come back and then fail to do everything in their power to make the great stuff they (presumably) encountered happen here.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Jayson June 19, 2015 at 3:43 pm

        I’m with ya, but this is the City of Study. Everything’s been studied so much, we might be moving onto the next phase – studying the effectiveness of studies. We need decision makers now, not more studies.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan R June 19, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I don’t live in Portland, but I assume that policy makers like the ones who are traveling have subordinates who can generate courses of action for them. These people are in turn recommending policies for elected officials. So either send the elected officials, who can “see for themselves” in Denmark what they are too busy to read about while home, or send the subordinates, who can use what they see as field data for their proposed courses of action. Sending the middle level does nothing.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • PaulaF June 19, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Also, too bad they could not figure out a way to take some of the more anti-bike, outspoken folks – that seems like the best bang for the buck. Show them that it is a good thing for business to design for bikes and peds.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ted Buehler June 19, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Glad to hear that more folks from Portland are making the rounds to Northern Europe.

    Sometimes it takes the literal immersion in another world to really believe it can be done.

    Hope they come back with fresh motivation, vision, and information, which will translate to more political will to advance projects here.

    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • RH June 19, 2015 at 10:36 am

    From what I’ve seen lately, PBOT doesn’t even seem to care about biking or active transit. I hope they go over there with an open mind and really see that things could be so much better in Portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • paikiala June 19, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      What have you seen?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • ethan June 19, 2015 at 1:29 pm

        Personally, I’ve seen the removal of bike lanes in favor of “mixing zones,” (Rosa Parks, NE 15th, Wiliams, etc.) I’ve heard from PBOT that they will not be implementing parts of the 2030 bike plan because “it would require removal of on-street parking.” I’ve seen curbs being installed that block future bike lanes (Division). I’ve seen signs blocking the sidewalks and bike lanes, I’ve seen traffic cones in the bike lanes, I’ve seen sidewalks, crosswalks and bike lanes closed with no notice, no signage, and no alternate routes posted. (Even yesterday, I saw all of these happen)

        I’ve also seen road repaving that has basically made the street level with the sidewalks (Morrison). I’ve seen streets repaved without including bike facilities (Morrison and Belmont).

        And those are just things off the top of my head.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Beeblebrox June 22, 2015 at 12:10 pm

          A well-designed mixing zone is safer and (in my opinion) more comfortable than a bike lane with a right-hook danger. The mixing zones on Multnomah St work quite well, and are preferable to creating a right-hook situation. If we care about vision zero, we should have more mixing zones throughout the city. Ideally you could use bike signals instead to separate movements in time, but that is more expensive and causes more delay for cyclists (one more signal phase to sit through).

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • El Biciclero June 22, 2015 at 12:43 pm


            Ah, the descriptor that disqualifies just about every American “protected bikeway” from being truly safe or convenient.

            The world is my mixing zone until I’m channeled away from the mix by “protection”, only to be forced into the mix in the last 50 feet before it’s necessary. Successful mixing depends on having enough time and space to spot a gap, judge the timing, do any necessary signaling, and move over. Sometimes, that means moving over early and claiming the lane for a longer distance, sometimes that means being able to spot an approaching gap and time a merge for closer to the last second, but either way, it requires planning that is not possible when the view of other-mode traffic is mutually blocked by “protective” parking or other barriers, and when merging is physically prevented by barricades that keep cyclists in their protective cage.

            I prefer to mix by folding gently, not whipping.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • maccoinnich June 19, 2015 at 10:59 am

    This list includes people representing the business interests of Downtown, the Lloyd District and the Central Eastside; all areas the Green Loop will go through. If this trip helps get them on board for that and the Central City Multimodal Study it will be worth every penny. Their support is far from guaranteed right now (the PBA nixed the bike lane on SW 12th a few years ago and some members of the CEIC are deeply skeptical about any new bike infrastructure in the Central Eastside).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Chris Anderson June 19, 2015 at 11:40 am

    What the delegates can experience first hand is the foundation for economic success that is provided by a safe and sane pedestrian environment. I’m convinced that Vision Zero is a huge economic opportunity.

    By implementing complete streets starting from the urban growth boundary and working our way in, we can take steps forward equitably, while at the same time lighting up Gateway Town Center as an innovation hub.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • michael June 19, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Let’s demand a debriefing from them once they come back from their trip. Seriously, they should be required to report back what they’ve learned, and what they will do differently in terms of doing their work. How will they use the contacts they make during the trip for further technical support? what new approaches and designs will they pursue?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      It’s very likely there will be some events and talks when they get back. I’d be willing to bet that Art and Leah to a PBOT Lunch ‘n Learn about some of their impressions and lessons learned.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • RH June 19, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Maybe with what they learn from the trip, it will help change “Zero Vision” to “Vision Zero”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Buzz June 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Anyone know anything about Debbie Kitchin? It says she’s the prez of the board of both PBA and the CEIC.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Sigma June 19, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Will they unveil the 2 way cycle track on the east side of Naito when they get back? I noticed the signals are being installed yesterday.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • rick June 19, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Please save the money by building the Red Electric Trail at a better pace.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • mikeybikey June 19, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    ja, men kan de bringe os nogle hindbærsnitter for den næste breakfast on the bridges?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Mike June 19, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Between this thread and the Portland Opera esplanade detour, it’s been a big week for making mountains out of molehills in the BP comments. Do we have to get worked into a lather over everything?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Random June 19, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Pretty funny, considering that the Danes voted in a right-wing, anti-immigrant government yesterday.

    Might be fun how to ask how the new government is going to change transportation policy…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • 9watts June 19, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      My strong suspicion is that their right wing is to the left of what passes for the left in this country. Might be worth looking a little more closely.

      “While Venstre [center right party] wants to freeze public spending, the DPP [Danish People’s Party that just won] wants to raise it, and it wants corporate taxes at a level higher than not only its right-wing allies but also the Social Democrats.”

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John June 19, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Marginally off topic: I like how, in the top photo, the bike lanes are shared with the bus loading area with what appears to be zero conflict; I’m guessing it’s due to the slower average bike speeds in Copenhagen, relative to Portland (must… resist… the urge to mention… lycra).

    Even more off topic: While in Copenhagen last summer, I watched a man running to catch a bus… unsuccessfully. The instant that the bus started pulling away, his middle finger popped right up! It totally warmed my heart — we’re all not so different after all!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Wells June 19, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    The article fairly highlights goals/outcomes the result of expenses which must include special tour hosts, engagments, stays, tours, dining, all costly premiums but necessary for representative emissaries there to learn. Add education to this bill of fare.

    Start your favorite worst bike intersection list.
    Make it a long list. Pick many contenders for bike rebuilds.
    Keep in mind ‘least expensive’ & ‘most productive’ potential.
    New sidewalk/crosswalk/bikeway arrangements.

    The Folder Bike movement considers that mode sidewalk-friendly,
    moreso than strings of bicyclers thru intersections tailgaiting at speed. Study how faster bicycling there works within pedestrian intersections, please.

    I’m planning a Marquam Bridge replacement.
    Picture the columns and overhead at OMSI gone.
    Also I’ve recently submitted a new design for “Hayden Island I-5 Access” to Metro. No 3rd central underpass. Westside ramps first. Local Bridge/Max extension to Jantz Bch. BRT to Vancouver. Access to I-5 South via Delta Park. (less impact than my favored 2010 Concept#1 Off-island Access).
    Request a copy from last thursday Metro council meeting minutes.

    Excellent article. Voi la’

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • B. Carfree June 19, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Considering that Copenhagen mostly has people using bikes as a substitute for walking, I’m not so sure it’s a good model to study unless one is going to vastly expand the transit infrastructure. What’s their median trip distance, something like half a click?

    Also, I hope the delegates are shown the vast number of implementations in CPH that have now been shown to have been a bad idea (like two-way cycletracks). If they don’t work in a place where there are actual licensing standards and law enforcement, what a disaster they will be here.

    It’s pretty funny that we’re going to spend all this time and money planning and building a small grid of world-class sidewalks to ride on just in time for autonomous cars to replace the scofflaws currently behind the wheel, which will make these implementations all the more inconvenient.

    Personally, I’d rather we simply enforced our traffic laws and enhanced the penalties for failure to obey them. The former was done once in the US, with the result being the highest use of bikes ever seen outside of China, albeit for only fifteen years.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • soren June 21, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      As I recall the average trip distance is about 1.5 km.

      I think Danish-style cycle tracks are very much needed on busier and/or commercial streets. Nevertheless, you do have a point about the problematic implementation of cycle tracks here in the USA. Is there a single cycle track in the entire USA that meets current Danish best practice?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Nick Falbo June 22, 2015 at 10:17 am

        Would you believe your fabled danish cycle track exists in Hillsboro? Veteran’s Drive has wide, raised cycle tracks on each side with immediate visibility to the road and great separation from pedestrians.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Nick Falbo June 22, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Malmö Sweden is literally a bridge away from Copenhagen, and it has an enviable 23% bicycle mode share. They have a mature city-wide cycle track network, but with a twist – all of their cycle tracks are two-way.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Mike June 19, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    I agree with some of the commenters that this seems more like a vacation than a learning experience. But let’s assume the latter is true. Then why not invite some ODOT people too. Portlanders need to realize they do not live in a vacuum. If ODOT is in charge of some of the urban roads in cities across the state shouldn’t they see how roads should be built for all users?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Gary June 20, 2015 at 12:23 am

    I believe these trips can be life-changing experiences. It is one thing to read about separated bicycle infrastructure or see pictures or Google streetview a cycle track, but to ride it alongside other local users brings a much better understanding of it’s merits & potential. I’ve seen countless consultants, private developers, non-profit and public agency staff come back from trips like these with changed convictions and a certain confidence about the potential for biking as a transportation choice. These trips are how we get bike mode share to 20-30 percent without reinventing the wheel or making big mistakes along the way.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Wells June 20, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      The link asking again the question Seattle won’t answer.
      Some progress there bicycling, but transit flops left and right
      continue/baffling outside transit planning communities. So,
      this link is another plea for helping Seattle NOT make a giant
      mistake finishing the 9300′ Bertha bore tunnel, 180′ depth, below sea level near Blanchard, all soluable soils, water tables and seepage channels. Seattle CANNOT have this vast sump, at depth force pumping up/outwards during earthquake waves….

      Plan B for Bertha:
      1) Ascend ~2000′ to Pike/Pine portal.
      2) Cement pier rows both sides entire length.
      3) Means to stabilize soils between.
      4) Extend Battery Street Tunnel per DEIS.
      5) Lower Belltown options per FEIS.
      6) Street Belltown to waterfront possible.
      7) Makes strongest seawall.

      Plan B for Bertha
      Somebody take it seriously….

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • paul g. June 22, 2015 at 12:24 am

    I’d like to think we’re learning something by sending a delegation, but this feels like a junket at this point since it’s been done before. Do we really learn anything new?

    I think the number of ways that Copenhagen and Amsterdam differ from Portland are many, deep, and historical. Every few years, a Portland delegation goes to Copenhagen and comes back starry-eyed. And then they face the reality of how Portland’s (and America’s) geography, history, demographics, and politics means we will never be like Copenhagen.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jacob June 22, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Sadly, the cover picture is not very good design. Making people get off the bus directly into the bike lane is a recipe for crashes, since there is very poor visibility and no space or time to react.

    The Dutch design is far superior:

    And it’s catching on in the US:

    Recommended Thumb up 0