Subscriber Post by Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike) on December 25th, 2015 at 10:59 pm
This post was submitted by BikePortland subscriber Kiel Johnson of Go By Bike.
Today, as children around the world were discovering what was inside of the wrapped boxes under their Christmas tree (or however else they celebrate the holidays). I did the same thing I do most days. I rode my bike around. Except this time Santa gave me the greatest gift of all. A city devoid of cars.
“The city was stressless and it was amazing.”
What was most remarkable was how quiet the city was. Everyone I passed commented on this. The city was stressless and it was amazing. It reminded me of a picture hanging up in our building from when the Lloyd Center mall was first built. Next to the mall you can see I-84 on a 1960’s weekday afternoon. There are so few cars you could count them on one hand.
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When the planners decided to build a freeway on valuable riverfront real estate or fill downtown with auto-parking, they did it in a city that felt like the one I was riding in, not the relatively oppressive city we are in today. Of course you would want to build a freeway back then. They had no idea the urban loss and social value being sacrificed to these structures. You only begin to understand the scale of this sacrifice when it is gone.
Today riding around I realized what we gave up. What a city can feel like when it isn’t overrun by car traffic.
Here are a few more photos…
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