Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 20th, 2017 at 12:23 pm
There can no longer be any doubt that bicycling is a major part of our region’s “value proposition” to businesses.
A reference to bicycling occurs on seven of the 23 pages that a local business group has sent to Amazon as our region’s pitch for the company’s second headquarters location. Among those references is a starring role on the cover of the pitch which shows a man bicycling down the corkscrew ramp from the Morrison Bridge to the Eastbank Esplanade with the Portland skyline in the background.
The pitch, created by Greater Portland, Inc. and sent to Amazon yesterday, aims to lure the juggernaut corporation with stats and promises organized into four main categories: Talent and Workforce, Quality of Life, Global Connections, and Business Ecosystem. Bicycling is represented at least once in each of those four chapters of the pitch.
Transit and other non single-occupancy vehicle transportation are mentioned many times as well.
Funny how our real, local politics still supports cars and driving (the Portland Business Alliance could easily be mistaken for a driving advocacy group), yet when we need to put our best foot forward and look presentable, we’re careful to hide our outdated and cowardly allegience to automobiles.
Maybe if we were bold enough to actually lead and legislate in a way that manifested the dreamy, bike and transit-centric fairy-tale depicted in pitches like this, we’d be so happy and fulfilled we wouldn’t be compelled to woo massive, subsidy-seeking, global corporations in order to gain validation as a world-class city.
I like Aaron Brown’s idea, expressed on Twitter this morning when we posted the pitch cover: “Instead of a bike tax, PDX needs a “bikewashing tax,” where corporate/civic boosters who use pics of bikes have to pay for more bike lanes.”
You can download the pitch here.
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