Local bike activists want everyone to know that the rumors of Portland’s bike decline have been greatly exaggerated.
BikeLoud PDX plans to host a rally this Friday (April 28th) to hammer that point home. Dubbed the “Bikes are Still the Future!” rally, BikeLoud says they will meet at Salmon Street Springs at 5:00 pm and then roll as a group over to the plaza in front of Portland City Hall. It’s an effort to counter whispers in city hall that perhaps, as the city faces steep budget cuts, investing in bikes is no longer good politics.
“When the 2022 Bike Counts were released in March 2023, BikeLoud PDX members weren’t dismayed or shocked by the falling numbers,” reads a statement from BikeLoud. “We were shocked by the City’s statement that they are no longer committed to people who bike by honoring a promise to‘build it and they will come’.” That’s a reference to comments made by Portland Bureau of Transportation Bike Coordinator Roger Geller, who said at a meeting back in June that perhaps the oft-repeated mantra that if bike infrastructure was built, people would ride in it, “just wasn’t working anymore.”
That worries BikeLoud because they’ve staked their entire organizational mission on the goal adopted in the Bike Plan for 2030 that calls for 25% of all trips to be made by bike by 2030. “BikeLoud PDX believes making safe space for biking is the only way we can get more Portlanders to choose to bike on our increasingly dangerous streets,” they maintain.
Here’s another excerpt from their statement:
We are here to say: we are Portlanders who ride bikes and we are still here. BikeLoud PDX wants to support the Portland Bureau of Transportation and our elected leaders to prioritize biking in the future. This is for our children’s future, this is for our climate future, this is for being proud of Portland: America’s Biking City. Rally with your friends and family on April 28 to Keep Portland Biking! We will celebrate, not as a disappointed group of people who bike, but as a group of folks who still love biking, every day, every year, before and after the pandemic, because we believe: Bikes are still the future!
At the rally, BikeLoud will host an open mic where anyone can step up and share what biking means to them and “what it means to the future of Portland.” Gather at Salmon Street Springs at 5:00 or city hall at 5:30. More information here.