Bikes and Streetcars, Oh My!

An upcoming series of open houses will look at both the Bicycle Master Plan and the Streetcar System Plan. I salute the Bureau of Transportation for giving citizens the opportunity to take these in together.

Portlanders examine long-range plans to shape transportation and livability

(PORTLAND, OR) – Imagine getting around Portland twenty years from now, with streetcars serving neighborhood business districts and an extensive network of bikeways so safe, comfortable, and attractive that more than a quarter of all trips are made on a bicycle.

That’s a future that could come true if the City adopts a new Streetcar System Plan and a 2009 update to the 1996 Bicycle Master Plan.

The public is invited to help shape this transportation transformation at a series of six May open houses around the city to showcase the two long-range plans. Visit the open house event in your community to learn more about the City’s strategic investment in green transportation:

Southeast Portland
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Franklin High School Cafeteria,
5405 SE Woodward St
Portland 97206

East Portland
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
David Douglas High School North Cafeteria
1500 SE 130th Ave
Portland 97233

North Portland
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Roosevelt High School Cafeteria,
6941 N. Central
Portland 97203

Central City and Northwest Portland
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Portland Building, Room C, 2nd Floor,
1120 SW 5th Ave
Portland 97210

Northeast Portland
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Grant High School Cafeteria,
2245 NE 36th Ave
Portland 97212

Southwest Portland
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Wilson High School Cafeteria,
1151 SW Vermont St
Portland 97219

At each event, you may drop in anytime between four and seven, and there will be brief remarks by a member of Mayor Adams’s staff at 6:00 p.m. There will be bicycle parking, light refreshments, and certified childcare in English and Spanish.

The 1996 Bicycle Master Plan made Portland the top bicycling city in the nation and became recognized as a national model. Over the past dozen years, the City has successfully implemented many elements of the plan and created robust programs to encourage bicycling. The results: each year more people are choosing to bicycle! For example, in 2008, daily bicycle traffic over the Willamette River bridges was more than five times higher than in 1995, and 20% of all trips over the Hawthorne Bridge were made by bike. The Bicycle Master Plan 2009 update project is taking a fresh look at the next steps to make Portland a world-class bicycling city. The bicycle plan is expected to go to City Council in October, 2009.

The Streetcar System Plan looks at extending development-oriented transit throughout the City. Far outstripping the original ridership projections, the downtown streetcar now carries over 11,000 passengers per day, and ridership growth averages 15% per year. Construction of the Eastside Loop Streetcar will start this summer, with service beginning in 2011. Where else should streetcar service be located? The Streetcar System Plan is a big picture look at the City of Portland’s transportation network and how streetcars might fit into this network in the future. The plan identifies a citywide network of potential streetcar corridors integrated with TriMet’s existing and planned transit system. The streetcar plan is expected to go to Council in August, 2009.

According to Metro growth projections, the City of Portland’s population is expected to grow from 575,000 to approximately 725,000 by the year 2030. In that same time, the region’s population may grow from 1.9 million to 3 million people. As the City of Portland prepares for this growth, new cleaner, greener transportation and development strategies must be a part of the solution. Both the Streetcar System Plan and the Bicycle Master Plan are key elements of the transportation strategy in the proposed City-County Climate Action Plan, and are being coordinated with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Portland Plan process. In addition to proposing new networks, these two planning efforts include funding and implementation strategies.

For more information on the Bicycle Master Plan, visit, e-mail, or call 503-823-4638.

For more information on the Streetcar System Plan, visit, e-mail, or call 503-823-5611.

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