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Think Out Loud

Bike Plan 2030

Pete Springer/OPB

Portland Planning Commission just unanimously passed an updated Bicycle Master Plan for the city. The last one was created in 1996. This one looks forward to goals for 2030. It makes bikes a “fundamental pillar” of the city’s transportation system. According to the Portland Mercury the first $100 million will buy 123 miles of new or improved bikeways. I’ll do the math for you, that’s roughly $800,000 a mile. If you’d like to dig into the numbers yourself check out page 114 of the bike plan (pdf).

Some people say $100 million for 123 miles is a deal. City Bicycle Coordinator, Roger Geller, testified that one mile of freeway costs $60 million to build. Planning commissioner, Chris Smith, said:

City Council should immediately raise our level of investment comparable to the best practice in Europe, on the scale of $25-40 per capita per year [which would be $12 to 20 million per year], prioritizing investment in cycling above other modes as necessary to achieve this. Ultimately a level of funding slightly higher than this will be required to build out the projects envisioned by the Plan within a 20-year timeframe.”

Not surprisingly, others think this level of spending amounts to motorist discrimination.

What should the future of biking look like in your town? Do you want bike lanes separated from the roads? Bike paths connecting various parts of your city — or even connecting you to the next town? Or more in-road lanes like the ones that exist now? Or do you think bike travel should be reduced and roads should be left to cars? How much should your city government spend on bicycle infrastructure? What’s your “Bike Plan” for 2030?

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