BikePortland provided live updates on the Portland City Council's 4-1 vote to launch a bike-sharing program today. The proposal which had support from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance but also a number of dissenters, including the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition and Upstream Public Health, who thought the $2 million in federal funds could be better spent on sidewalks or road improvements in neglected neighborhoods. Here are two views from the Council meeting, pro and con:
Mayor Sam Adams:
"It's important that folks understand that these things [bike share] start in the most dense areas and then, with success, they can move further out. In our case, we have a significant concentration of low-income folks downtown and being able to provide them an ability to expand their mobility... I look forward to that... I also look forward to the opportunities on the Yellow MAX line Killingsworth stop near Portland Community College — which is a 15 minute walk and a three minute bike ride from the stop."
Commissioner Amanda Fritz:
This proposal prioritizes $2 million for a bike share program — which if it's such a good idea I don't know why the private sector hasn't done it — rather than putting money into basic services... It makes me very uncomfortable to fund more active transportation options when I can't get off the bus one stop earlier because there's no sidewalk... There's a lot to like in this proposal, but we have hundreds of millions of dollars of sidewalks and crossings needed and if we don't start plugging away we are not going to have them funded in my lifetime."