Can Portland Become a World-Class Cycling City?
While investments are being targeted at physical infrastructure, Portland is also engaged in creating a culture of cycling through social marketing campaigns and celebrations.
"[Portland's] plans signal a strategic shift in bicycle planning-a new push to serve more than the 8-10 percent of people who feel at ease biking today. Portland is now focusing on meeting the needs of the 60 percent of people who report in surveys that they're interested in biking more but feel nervous doing it on streets with cars zooming past. Currently, about two-thirds of Portland's 314 miles of bikeways are simple bike lanes, but the city is designing more bike boulevards (residential streets optimized for bike, rather than car, traffic), bike paths (off-street trails through parks or old rail lines), and cycle tracks (bike-only spaces separated from busy streets by a median, grade separation, or wide strip of painted pavement)...The new plan will push bike infrastructure to 5 percent of the city's total transportation budget."
Economic analysis is also revealing that these cycling investments are more than paying for themselves. It is estimated that the region is keeping $800 million in the local economy thanks to cycling, and that bikes are responsible for $1.5 billion in additional economic activity.