Slow Leak

Portland's Lost Its Urgency for Bikes. Let's Get It Back!

Comments

1
The 2030 bike plane did not specifically call for "cycle tracks", it called for a mix of infrastructure. IMO, the most striking change in PDX is that installation of buffered bike lanes and new bike boulevards (*cough*, *cough* greenways) has completely dried up. And it was these facilities that got us to 6%. Maybe more would help...no?

IMO, one of the main reasons cycling in PDX is stagnating is because PBOT no longer has an interest in affordable connectivity but is saving every meager penny to build the next few hundred feet of over-engineered "world class" separated infrastructure. And one of the chief advocates of this do nothing until we have enough to do it "perfectly" approach is Roger *FUCKING* Geller. We badly need a thorough housecleaning at PBOT and the BTA (what BTA? do they even exist any longer?). Instead of mild mannered yes-people we need city employees and advocates who are willing to tell the stake holder biznisis to shove it.

A sign of how messed up portland bike advocacy has become is the way some advocates complain that we should not be building infrastructure for bicycle commuters.

WTF???

Are kids going to get us to ACS 25% mode share?


We won't make any progress in this town until PBOT and cycling advocates stop huffing the copenhamsterdamista ganja and start supporting practical and affordable infrastructure NOW (e.g. not 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now).
2
Great work on this, Dirk.
3
Very good article, Dirk. I agree that Portland needs to do way more to make bicycling safe and alluring for the average rider. I just got back from Vancouver, B.C., and was amazed at the cycle tracks and other bike amenities. Same goes for NYC. Can somebody suggest the best way for average riders like me, who are not part of the activist network, to advocate for better biking in P-town? What's most effective?
4
I've biked in both Vancouver BC and NYC on numerous occasions, and if you felt safer riding in either of those locations than in Portland, you're a badass.
5
Hey Chicken Little, how's that sky lookin'?
6
I use the Greenways every day, to take my daughter to preschool, to get groceries, and I think they are mostly alright. Except that some drivers feel the need to speed down the stop sign free streets, sometimes slamming on their brakes for the speed bumps, driving aggressively, and even harassing me for taking the lane. And then there are all the drivers who roll through the stop signs crossing the Greenways. Sure, there are always going to be jerks, but I think part of the problem is that most people are not aware of what the Greenways are supposed to be for.
7
I recently dropped some dough on a new road bike, and was looking forward to getting around on it. I was trying to commute to NW Naito and tour my neighborhood between Foster and Woodstock. It didn't take long before I was discouraged by disappearing bike lanes thrusting me out, exposed, onto a highway with traffic whizzing by; and confusing, disjointed and inefficient routes, clogged by closed roads due to construction and putting me into a minefield of retired train tracks. Then it rained on me (I hadn't added fenders yet), and I haven't brought the bike out since.

I love the bikeways, I just wish they would take me to where I need to go. I'm jealous of the people for whom this system works.
8
Erin: maps. Heard of them? Boo hoo hoo.

Just today I used the sharrows to ride from I-205 to Grand on a route that I hadn't bothered researching and it was fine. It's not difficult.
9
The City of Portland certainly has lost some of its bike mojo, years of budget cuts and a lack of political leadership have left the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 stalled. But regionally, as far as the BTA goes, I'm surprised Rex Burkholder so quickly forgot his own vote on one of their flagship campaigns for ~$18M for bike projects. http://www.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2010/07/08/with-bike-funding-even-a-cut-is-a-win
10
most people DONT want to bike to commute or run errands, but most people DO want a nice place to bike in their free time.

We have busses for distance trips without cars - and only a small fraction of the population is young enough and in-shape enough for long daily bike trips - and even they get old with time.

I used to bike when I was in my 20s, now Im in my 50s and I only bike on single-track for fun.

Buy some land or right of way out on sauvie island away from cars and you will see it packed with bikers every weekend and most week nights.

Another thought: put a wall between the I-84 freeway and its bike path - the noise is horrible and so is the exhaust
11
another thing that is going on...

as portland removes driving lanes for bike lanes, we are now in the to ten of worst driving conditions...

people are TIRED of bikes getting more lanes while drivers get less...

and --- the 6% got to be 6% by bikers moving here from other cities - and now that portland is unafordable for min wage hipsters, that number will go down dramatically...

also, a lot of the people I see on bikes are bums smoking a cig while they ride someplace to look for things that they can steal