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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Portland: Democracy Now! celebrates bicycling culture

Image of bicyclist on the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, Oregon
From Democracy Now!, 04.15.08:

Portland Considered Most Bicycle-Friendly City in North America

AMY GOODMAN: For many, Portland is a haven of green-friendly urban planning. It recently topped Popular Science’s list of the greenest cities in the United States. A big part of that is bikes. Portland is widely considered the most bicycle-friendly city in North America, so much so that bikes are on display throughout the Portland airport. Worldwide, it’s seen as only second to Amsterdam.

I’m joined now by two local transportation activists. Elly Blue is the coordinator of the Towards Carfree Cities conference taking place in Portland this June. She is also a contributing writer to Scott Bricker is also with us, executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, or BTA, a nonprofit membership group working to promote bicycling and improve bicycling conditions in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about how Portland is so bike-friendly. What does it do?

SCOTT BRICKER: Portland has a history of being bicycle-friendly, and it actually—it really goes back to Oregon in the 1970s, when they passed a bicycle bill, which required that all new bicycle—all facilities would be built with bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. And in the ’90s, Earl Blumenauer, who was a city councilor at the time, is now a congressman, worked to get a bicycle program that at the time had four staff members, and they worked to just get bicycle facilities on the streets.

The city has a 170 miles of bike lanes, but it also has a number of low-traffic streets that are good for the whole family, bicycle boulevards and paths. So we have a great infrastructure here, and it’s growing. And then, more recently, we’ve been working on the community, so promoting bicycling, bicycle websites and blogs, a lot of fun activities. (Read more.)
Amy Goodman is the best journalist in the U.S., and I am a big fan of Democracy Now!. Goodman broadcast from Portland last week, and her crew couldn't help but notice the city's bicycling reputation. The program features an excerpt of a video by the talented folks at

Image: Web capture.
Visit: Portland's bicycling economy, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Portland acts to protect cyclists, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: New York Times on Portland bicycling, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Portland: Leaving the car behind, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site

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