Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Portland The Next Phase

Portland is nationally recognized as a leader in the movement to create bicycle-friendly cities. About 7 percent of commuters here travel by bike (the national average is under 1 percent) and the city has an ambitious plan, adopted last year, to increase that proportion to 25 percent by 2030. Until recently, Portland’s bike initiatives focused on improving the transportation infrastructure. But as businesses awaken to the purchasing power of cyclists, “bicycle-supported developments” are also beginning to appear around town. These are residential and commercial projects built near popular bikeways and outfitted with cycling-related services and amenities. The change is coming from the private sector.  But not everyone is unreservedly enthusiastic about the district’s new orientation. In some neighborhoods businesses and many residents see bicycles as a symbol of the gentrification taking place in the neighborhood. The city’s Bureau of Transportation is considering working with the Bureau of Planning on bicycle-oriented developments, possibly connected to “cycle tracks” — physically separated bike lanes that have some of the permanence of a streetcar line. Read more in the  NYT

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