The city has a grand vision of Portland's future: 20 years from now, bicycling will be a "pillar of the transportation system" and more than 25 percent of all trips will be made through Portland's friendly, tree-lined streets via bicycle. That is, of course, if the funding comes through.
Back in 1996 Portland aimed to build 651 miles of bike paths. So far the city has only built 305 miles. But this spring the city is in the middle of updating its Bicycle Master Plan and it's aiming even higher: 600 new miles of bikeways over the next 20 years, with the first tier (100 miles of bike lanes and boulevards) estimated to cost $30 million. The city spent only $2.7 million from its own budget on bike improvements over the past seven years, so actually building the planned bike work will mean looking for money elsewhere. Portland secured $1 million in federal stimulus funds for the plan, but is hoping it can snag $50 million from the Federal-Aid Highway Act. SM
The district attorney's office has declined to prosecute Portland Police Officer Christopher Humphreys over the death in custody of James Chasse Jr., a man with schizophrenia. The DA's decision came despite enhanced video released from the downtown jail last November, which clearly showed Humphreys contradicting the story he told the police bureau's Internal Affairs Division about the encounter ["Video Replay," News, Nov 6, 2008]. Police Chief Rosie Sizer said the incident will now be reviewed once again by Internal Affairs.
"James Chasse's death was a direct result of an unwarranted attack by a police officer who is well known for his use of force, both before the death of James Chasse and afterward," responded the Mental Health Association of Portland, in a statement. MD