Portland set to become the next Amsterdam

(photo by J. Maus)

If you haven’t been paying attention, head over to BikePortland.org and check out the latest news on the city’s extremely progressive bike plan to install 700 MILES WORTH of bike paths, with 300+ being developed as European styled, separated bike lanes. They’ve set an ambitious goal of increasing ridership to 25% with a cost of $500+ Million over a 20 year period. In comparison, Dallas spent $550 Million on a single hotel…and $100 Million on a bridge that goes approx. one mile.

In his address to the council, Mayor Davis (former Transportation Planners) noted that “For less than 2% of our budget since 1996, we’ve seen ridership grow, that’s a good return on investment.” In other words, Portland adopted a “build it and they will come” philosophy and have watched ridership levels skyrocket to 8% in a relatively short amount of time. Undoubtedly, this new investment will double the number.

Not only have these systems proven to increase ridership, but the most exciting development will be economically watching Portland become a people-friendly city and how it drives more local business while breeding safer streets. View Jan Gehl, Copenhagen’s planner, discuss the changes that occurred in his hometown after a major focus was placed on bicycle infrastructure here. You’ll notice, the before pictures look just like present-day Dallas.


  1. That is all and well, and I love that city groups are providing better access to bikes but I am very concerned that with more bikers around we will see an increase of cars vs bike accidents.

  2. Actually, the opposite occurs. The more riders, the lower the accident ratios. The phenomenon is known as Safety in Numbers, and was first reported by Jacobsen, and has since been corroborated in other international studies: http://www.livablestreets.com/streetswiki/safety-in-numbers

    It’s also why Copenhagen, who has an extremely large number of bike riders has decimal point accident levels. Drivers are more cautious out of fear of hitting a cyclist, since so many exist, so overall traffic speeds lower.

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