Have you ever wondered why Portland is such a great cycling city? Well, take a look at the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 and wonder no more! Adopted in February of 2010, the plan suggests that bicycling will be more attractive than driving by the year 2030 if advances are made in six key areas:
• Attracting new riders.
• Forming a denser bikeway network.
• Increasing bicycle parking.
• Expanding programs to support bicycling.
• Increasing funding for bicycle facilities.
• Strengthening bicycle policies.
So we’re almost three years into the plan, and where do we stand? A one-year progress report was published in April of 2011 and the news looks encouraging for those of us who depend on our bikes as our primary means of transportation:
• 16 new miles were added to the previously developed 30 miles of Neighborhood Greenways.
• 4 new miles were added to the previously developed 175 miles of Separated In-Roadway bike lanes.
• The amount of Portlanders living within a quarter mile of low-stress bikeways increased by 10%.
• Existing and funded Neighborhood Greenways total 71 miles.
• Existing and funded Separated In-Roadway bike lanes total 187 miles.
And the news wasn’t just about new bike routes throughout our beautiful city. There were also encouraging reports on some great encouragement and education programs. SmartTrips, which encourages alternative transportation choices, was expanded in 2010 and distributed nearly 5,000 neighborhood Bike/Walk maps to businesses and individuals in East Portland. Sunday Parkways, which promotes healthy active living by closing streets to cars for an afternoon, began with one event in 2008 and held three events in 2009. In 2010, Parkways increased to five events and more than 91,000 Portlanders used their wheels or their feet to enjoy their neighborhoods on car-free Sundays. Finally, there’s Safe Routes to School, which advocates for and implements improvements to make walking and bicycling to school fun, safe and healthy. Safe Routes began in 2005 with eight schools and had increased to 80 schools by the end of 2010, with 39% of students getting to school in an active manner.
Wow! What great news for the city of Portland! But what does this mean for Portland Pedal Power? It means that when you order your lunch from Pacific Pie Company or Aybla Mediterranean Grill, it’ll be delivered quickly and safely by Fitz, Colin, Alex or Brook!