Portland began its divergence from the typical American city’s transportation model in the 70s, when federal highway dollars were diverted to light rail construction. Since then 300 miles of bike lanes, several more light rail lines, the streetcar, and changes to land use patterns have contributed to a transportation transformation.
The Boston Globe asks if this model can catch on elsewhere:
Officials in Portland say the recognition from Washington is long overdue after years in which federal bureaucrats were indifferent or hostile, even as the city’s emphasis on “livability’’ became widely admired among urban planners and environmentalists. And while boasting of Portland’s transit-oriented culture, officials largely reject the idea that there is something special in the Oregon air that can’t be replicated elsewhere.
“We happen to have gone down a path that was very prescient,’’ said the city’s mayor, Sam Adams, formerly a city transportation official. “We get high praise on a very low standard.’’
The Obama administration’s focus on Portland, which US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood dubbed the “capital city’’ of transportation policy during a visit last month, comes as Congress begins work on a new six-year highway and transit bill. Advocates hope the law, which could be voted on as early as this fall, will be the most sweeping overhaul since 1991.
Read the rest: In one city, at least, two-wheelers welcome.
Buses are great. Cost effective and serve any area there is an existing road. Trains are a HUGE waste of money: inflexible routes, no express trains (takes well over an hour to get to downdown from Hillsboro).
The bike infrastructure is excellent. The bikers, however, can be jerks. Co-exist means co-exist, not preferential treatment. I’m tired of seeing bikers casually jump from sidewalk to road, blow through stop signs and stop lights, and hog the road just to be a-holes.
Car commuters are people too, and taxpayers last time I checked. They deserve roads as much as mass transit people deserve buses.
Share the road, share the ride, AND share the tax dollars.