As some of you may know it has been over a year since SDOT and the city council approved the Bicycle Master Plan. SDOT has done a great job and spent millions of dollars (via bridging the gap) to implement the plan. Recently SDOT released a progress report highlighting a lot of the work that they have already done, and plan to do over the next year.
Some of the highlights are 56 miles of new bicycle lanes and sharrows, 15 miles of signed bicycle routes, and most recently on-street bicycle parking.
As a daily bicyclist I see the benefits every day but at the same time I see things like this. On and off over the past months few months the bike lane that I use every day has been blocked by shipping containers. Now this isn’t the end of the world but to me it is still very symbolic of how bicyclist and bicycle facilities are view. They are seen as amenities, not essential infrastructure. With that attitude bicycling will not become more prevalent.
To add to the irony of all this, SDOT and the DPD are hosting a presentation, Bicycling: A Sustainable Choice by the director of Copenhagen’s DOT this Friday. Copenhagen is the standard barer of bicycling in Europe and makes Portland’s bicycle infrastructure look modest at best, not to mention how it makes ours look.
As an aside I’m a new contributor to STB. I’m currently working on a masters degree in transportation engineering at UW and I formerly blogged over at OrphanRoad.