View Single Post
Old 02-08-08, 02:07 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,621
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
Start out with cancellation of the Mt. Hood Freeway and the other one to the west.

The urban growth boundary.

Enormous sums of government money spent on the light rail system.

Lots more government money and forgone government income spent on "transit-oriented development" projects that wouldn't exist except for the governmental subsidies, and which have had a dubious economic history, to say the least.

The pronouncements by the transit agency that it has to have congestion in order to attract riders.

Reduction in capacity of downtown streets.

Then there are the intended side effect of these policies: higher housing costs, greater densification, and greater congestion.

All of these items are not only anti-motoring but have been publicly announced as having that purpose. And, being such, they make bicycle transportation more competitive with motoring. And, notice, I have made no mention, so far, of bikeways, which are not a necessary part of the anti-motoring forces.
People in Portland decide to ride bikes in greater numbers, but not because motoring is particularly inconvenient there. It is just as easy or easier to drive in Portland than it is to drive in cities of similar size, and 'motoring' is still the mode of choice, by far. So if they are trying to make motoring difficult in Portland they are doing a pretty horrible job. If they really wanted to do some damage they could simply raise the bridges at peak hours. That would surely do it.

Consider this: due to the city's devotion to light rail, walkable communities, bicycle infrastructure, and all that jive, they are going to be able to pack a lot more people, and a lot more commerce, into a small space than would otherwise be possible in a city devoted only to the motoring paradigm.

One thing that I've noticed about Portland -- not only are there a lot more cyclists per capita there, but the cycle-commuters are also the most law-abiding, light-sitting, conservative and proper riders I've ever seen anywhere.


The Industrialized Cyclist
RobertHurst is offline