No big surprise: City Council Planning Commission approved the city's new Bicycle Master Plan 5-0 last night, layering praise on the ambitious plan to build 600 new miles of bikeways around Portland and get thousands more urbanites on bikes by 2030.

That's the good news. But earlier this week, a post on BikePortland pointed out the bad news about the bike master plan—it's a lot of great talk, but the city needs to seriously get its rear in gear if all those beloved bike lanes are going to become a reality.

In a letter (pdf) posted on BikePortland, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) told the city's bike plan director, "To make and maintain this needed shift, the draft plan’s creative and thoughtful policies need to be matched by equally creative and thoughtful commitments and investments." Or, in the simpler English I put forward last week: SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Yeah, the BTA's letter could be sharper and more readable, but hopefully it's a sign that the advocacy group will start putting the screws on City Hall and the state transportation department to make bike funding actually match the big heap of hype showered on bikes in Oregon. In the letter, the BTA suggests some necessary benchmarks for success, including building 130 miles of bikeways by 2013 and bringing down Portland's bike crash rate to a quarter of what it is today by the year 2014.

All I'm saying is that after writing one, two, three, four, five articles about Portland's miserably low funding for bike infrastructure, it's good to hear the city's bike advocacy group make the same point to City Hall.

  • Mark Searcy