Act Now for the Bicycle Master Plan

This message is bouncing around the blogosphere, but I think it’s important to repeat it here. Mayor Potter has not included $150,000 for an update to the Bicycle Master Plan in his proposed budget. Here’s the original message from the BTA:

Mayor Tom Potter’s office has released his draft budget, which includes many of the good things BTA members care about.

But the Mayor cut an essential item – the Platinum Bike Master Plan Update.

Please contact the Mayor’s office TODAY and ask him to restore $150,000 in funding to make sure the Platinum Bike Master Plan Update can be completed. With cities like Chicago, Seattle, and New York setting aggressive goals to improve bicycling, Portland can’t be using a 12-year-old master plan to compete. We’ve learned a lot since the plan was written in 1995, and we need to collect those lessons into a plan to make Portland a Platinum-level bike city, and to address key city goals around child and adult health, global warming, and affordable transportation choices.

You can email Jeremy Van Keuren ( in the Mayor’s office, fill out Mayor Potter’s webform, or call his office at (503) 823-4120. See all your contact options here.

Thank you! With your help, we can make Portland a better place for bikes!

Please join me in contacting the Mayor’s office immediately.

9 responses to “Act Now for the Bicycle Master Plan”

  1. Id like to see independent bicycle counts before I feel like we should spend another dime on specialized bicycle infrastructure.

    It seems like few areas with bike traffic high enough to warrant special lanes have none [like Hawthorne], where the rest of the city has plenty of unused bike lanes taking up space that could be used for cars [see Division east of 82nd].

  2. Anthony wrote: …the rest of the city has plenty of unused bike lanes taking up space that could be used for cars [see Division east of 82nd].

    This Google Map shows Division St. east of 82nd Ave. There are 4 through-lanes, 2 parking lanes, a center turn lane, and 2 bike lanes.

    That configuration exists all the way east to 174th ave, where the bike lanes disappear and all the other lanes are maintained. It regains bike lanes about 50 blocks further east at Wallula Ave. in Gresham.

    If you eliminated the bike lanes, you could potentially add about 6″ to each through auto lane, but you wouldn’t have enough right-of-way to actually add any new lanes for autos.

    East of 82nd, the grid system is incomplete. The only true east-west through streets near Division are Powell (averaging 2,000ft away) and Stark (about 4,000ft away.) Which street would you have bicycles make a 10-to-20-block detour to use instead of Division — Powell or Stark?

    – Bob R.

  3. Bob — honestly, I would have them use the sidewalk or ride in the new right lane [after striping Division to it’s original 7-lane specs]. They are so infrequent out here that no one would notice. The “free” on-street parking is rarely used as well.

    And speaking of sidewalks, it would be nice if the city spent some of that couplet or condo money on completing the sidewalks on the main stretches out here. Bicycling might not be that popular in my neighborhood but there are quite a few pedestrians.

  4. hey are so infrequent out here that no one would notice.

    That just isn’t true. Division is hardly a great spot to ride even where there are bike lanes, but every time I have done it there have been other bicyclists on the road. And when I drive that stretch I see people biking as well.

    there are quite a few pedestrians.

    If you eliminate both on street parking and bike lanes and put the traffic at the curb, that leaves pedestrians to be splashed by every passing car. Pedestrians need space between themselves and traffic.

    The issue really is whether streets should be dedicated to motor vehicles to the exclusion of all other uses. But in fact, most streets serve a lot of purposes besides moving vehicles as efficiently as possible.

  5. It seems that the perception of “not many bikes” isn’t true. Seattle has similar problems with certain areas.

    One must be reminded often, that just because you only see one or two on the road when you go driving by at 30mph (or more) doesn’t mean there aren’t more. It just means you have limited exposure to the others out there because of the auto usage.

    There are thousands in and out of the city every day, using 6 ft of roadway to help those people get in and out of the city makes a HUGE difference in standard of living, and even makes a slight difference in traffic.

  6. Anthony said: “I would have them use the sidewalk

    Sidewalks are much more unsafe – the majority of bicycle accidents occur at the juncture of a driveway with a street. In nearly every study of bicycle accidents ever done, the accident rate was much higher when bicycles ride on the sidewalk. Cars are not watching for 10mph cyclists on the sidewalk – they’re watching for 3mph pedestrians.

    If you want to argue that bikes should ride 3mph on sidewalks, I’d like to argue that cars should drive 10mph on streets – both would be much safer. Neither alternative is ideal for transportation users who want to get somewhere in a reasonable time.

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