Portland Bicycle Plan

Seal_of_Portland_ORPortland, Oregon recently created a proposed bicycle plan.

One highlight of that plan is a supplement on Bicycle Design Best Practices, where they have compiled a very comprehensive and up-to-date collection of bicycle facilities. Some of the newer facilities (newer to the U.S. at least) include bicycle boulevards and separated bike lanes (a.k.a. cycle tracks.)

This report documents an extensive review of best practices from world‐class bicycling cities where the most innovative technology advances in designing for bicycle traffic have been proven effective. The purpose of the report is to create a guide for traffic engineers, designers and planners detailing tried and‐ tested bicycle facility designs along with essential considerations for their implementation.

Note that there are no side paths or “safety” paths shown in their best practices guide.

And while speaking of Portland, the Census Bureau recently released 2008 American Community Survey data. This data includes statistics on how people get to work. Portland not only leads the U.S. in this people biking to work, they are reporting a record increase.

Portland experienced the largest one-year increase in bicycling as commuters primary mode of transportation ever, according to the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey.

“Our small investment in bicycling infrastructure and education are paying off in a big way,” Mayor Sam Adams said. “Once again the data backs up our belief that when Portlanders are given a safe, convenient alternative to driving they will get out of their car and onto a bike.” Adams has been in charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation since 2004.

The data released Monday showed 6.4 percent responded to the survey that they bicycled to work in 2008. This makes Portland number one in bicycle commuting among the 30 largest cities in the country. The percentage of walkers and transit users also rose.

The city of Detroit and Metro Detroit bike commuting numbers were fairly flat. This is surprising given the greater number of bicyclists on the roads (though they may not all be riding to work.) Or they are biking to work and using transit, in which case it’s unclear how they would have responded to this census survey.

That said, there was a decrease in car use which appears to have shifted to transit.

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