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August 17, 2006

Visionary Portland

Car use is the growing at the slowest rate anywhere in the U.S. in our friendly neighboring city to the south.  Portland has been investing in public transportation for 10 years.  Over this time, use of public transportation has gone up by 65% and they've avoided a predicted 40% increase in congestion.  They've eradicated over 62 million car trips a year in the process.  The BBC has a series on the best public services in the world and they are highlighting Portland for the ease of public transportation and the vision to develop high-density residential and business communities around light-rail stops and transit centers.

Portland's Transportation Commissioner, Sam Adams, puts the city's success down to 3 main factors: the marriage of transportation and land use issues, public and private partnership, and clear results.

Cycling traffic has increased by 257% in the city over the last ten years.  Cyclers consider the city to be bike friendly.  Heck, I keep my bicycle in Portland and use it a lot when I'm there, which is fairly frequently.  In addition to being less hilly, it is just a lot safer to cycle in Portland.  Once I get my leg muscles built up, I'll probably buy another bike for Seattle and just learn to deal with having to mix with car traffic but it sure could be easier.

Posted by Lynn Allen on August 17, 2006 at 09:06 AM in Best Practices | Permalink


Sam Adams. Brewer, Patriot, Transit Commissioner.

Posted by: Kevin | Aug 17, 2006 10:52:20 PM

Portland has been investing in land use planning far longer than your cited figure of 10 years of planning for public transportation. The latter is inextricably interwined with the former. That's why the passage of Measure 37 in Oregon threatens all of Portland's long-term planning. It's also why those of us who live in Washington should be opposing Initiative 933, which promises more cars, more sprawl and more traffic. For a great series on land use planning in Oregon and Washington see http://www.sightline.org/research/sprawl/res_pubs/property-fairness/land-is-your-land

Posted by: Sean | Aug 18, 2006 1:19:24 PM

Yes, I-933 is nasty, nasty. And we will need to focus more on it and why it needs to be defeated. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Lynn | Aug 18, 2006 2:07:26 PM

Brewer. Patriot. Yumm. Maybe we can have him at drinking liberally.

Posted by: Dean | Aug 18, 2006 9:19:15 PM

I can actually commute to work from NE Portland to Beaverton (nearly in Hillsboro) via bike + MAX. I can get there in under an hour (I do ride fast, though). Without MAX I would have never even considered it.

The ride is my escape, and lets us get by with only one car. Tri-Met and Metro are two reasons I (and others) love the Stumptown.

Posted by: Allan White | Aug 20, 2006 5:46:34 PM

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