Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Weird Portland Wednesday: Biking Portland's Way

Like many cities across the nation, Portland is a bike-friendly little town.  We take pride in earning the title of "platinum” level bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists.  They only name one large city this highest honor a year.  We have also been named the number one bike-friendly city by Bicycling magazine for many years running.

We have 350 miles of bikeways, with more than 50 more miles funded to be installed in the next few years.  This includes 77 miles of Neighborhood Greenways, 188 miles of bike lanes, and 85 miles of bike paths.  Over 7% of commuters bike to work; the national average for a large city is .5%.  We rock at this bike thing.
But remember, we are also a weird city.  So you would obviously find bikers looking like this:  

Not so unusual, right?  Everyone has protection from Storm Troopers in their city...which is pretty weird in itself, since Portland was called "Little Beirut".  According to the website, Free Republic, the nickname "Little Beirut" has stuck to Portland since it was first coined by the staff of President Herbert Bush after loud protests during his visits to Oregon in the early 1990s, and the reputation remained strong as President GW Bush returned a decade later. 

"I think it's a catchy nickname, but it's kind of misleading in the amalgamation of constituencies that are opposing him," said Tom Hastings, a Portland State University professor and longtime peace activist.  The Oregon protests against Bush and his father have been aimed at legitimate issues and have drawn broad support regardless of age, race, religion or political party, he said.  But confrontations with a few noisy, chanting protesters who challenge police lines typically draw widespread television coverage that paints a distorted picture about the tens of thousands of people who have marched or demonstrated peacefully against administration policies over the years, Hastings said.  It is the sheer numbers of those demonstrators that lends weight to criticism of those policies, he said.

Over 100 schools are served by Portland’s Safe Routes to School Program.  This means that there are services like education programs operating at schools to teach kids about traffic safety and how to be safe pedestrians and bicyclists when actively going to school.  So you might even see this:

And face it.  Who doesn't see mothers of several children biking their kids to school?

And who doesn't see this type of running in their city.  Oh one unless you are hanging in Portland!  We are all about using alternative transportation.

So we like to bike here in Stumptown.  We just like to bike it our way.

Keeping it weird in Portland!


1 comment:

BethE said...

How interesting!