I live in Portland, Oregon, which receives tons of praise for being the “Amsterdam of the United States,” meaning the best place to ride a bicycle for actual transportation.
This shows how pathetic our expectations are in this society, since Portland, Oregon, USA is a damned dangerous and unfriendly place for cyclists. It is 99 percent given over to automobiles-über-alles. This contrasts with the 99.8 percent rate for the rest of the nation.
Last week, however, the real and growing anti-car, pro-bicycle grassroots movement here succeeded in pressing the Portland City Council to pass (though not to fully fund, of course) the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030.
If enacted, this plan would divert $600 million of the city’s future transit spending into construction of cycling infrastructure, with the stated goal of having 25 percent (i.e. one percentage point less than prevailed in Amsterdam circa 2001) of all Portland commuting done via bike by 2030.
The opponents of this plan? The usual suspects: the Portland Business Alliance, and the local right-wing, corporation-pimping capitalist-libertarian flak tank, a.k.a., the Cascade Policy Institute.
Neither of these leading lights concedes the first iota of the idea that cars-first transportation is going to burn up the planet’s petroleum supply in the next few decades. Citizens should remember this for future reference.
Meanwhile, the Portland Business Alliance continues its fine tradition of asking for things simply because it wants things, the planet, the city, and the people be damned:
We urge that investments made in pedestrian and bicycling modes will be considered in coordination with other modes with the intention of improving the overall operation of the transportation system, and we encourage added language making that clear.