Dave Silver

In 2008 the League of American Bicyclists named Portland the first major city to attain a Platinum Award as a bicycle friendly community. Cities must apply through the league to receive a ranking and the grading curve is rigorous. Communities must meet the “5 E’s,” which include initiatives in engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation.

“We don’t give away the award lightly,” said LAB president Andy Clarke. “Certainly not every city that applies gets any award.” 

Seven years later some cyclists wonder if Portland is really keeping up with the curve? Other major cities in the nation are giving Portland a run for their money.

“There are cities like Minneapolis, like Salt Lake City, like Seattle that are snapping at your heels,” said Clarke.

Will Vanlue, an avid Portland cyclist, started a petition to have the platinum status revoked. Vanlue claims that Portland is no longer an innovator in the cycling community.

“I think there are a lot of cities other than Portland that deserve a lot of praise but they are ranking lower right now,” he said. “It’s not really fair to them.” 

In 2017 Portland will be eligible to reapply for the Platinum Award, but will it make the cut? Clarke remained optimistic.

“Compared to other cities in the U.S. Portland is doing a splendid job,” he said.