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  1. #1
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    What Portland really needs to do to call itself "bike town".

    I have a friend in Portland who has come up with a brilliant idea for bicycle friendly city traffic. His suggestion, make one lane on each alternating secondary street bike only or car only. For example on narrow 2 lane neighborhood streets bikes would have one full lane, cars would have the other lane running in the opposite direction. Every other street would switch direction, effectively making the street one way for bikes and one way for cars. The beauty of this is that everyone would still have access to their house, there would be more room for parking, and because autos and bikes would be facing each other going opposite directions each would be more visible to the other. It would also tend to move bicycles off the main arteries of vehicle traffic, making accidents less likely. While easing congestion on main streets bicyclist would still be able to travel within a city block along major traffic corridors. Of course normal traffic rules would apply, bikes would still have access to all streets and be restricted to "bike only" where they exist, and only residential neighborhoods would be changed but it sounds like an idea which would encourage safety and greater bicycle use.

    There has been a lot of talk about "change" lately this is the kind of thinking we need to make it happen.
    Happy Trails
    Jolly

  2. #2
    MTT
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    Maybe as more of us get on the roads this might be possible, but even in Portland only 6% of the people commute by bike, which is the one of the highest in the nation. Problem is we live in a car culture where most of us feel driving is a right, and not an expensive distraction.

    Hopefully stuff like this can happen in the future. This about Holland- more than 50% of the population commute by bike! You can bet when the cycling lobby group speaks up the law makers listen!.............MTT

  3. #3
    M_S
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    Never gonna fly in portland, but many of the bike routes have at least as much cycle traffic as car. They are very convenient to use.

  4. #4
    Former Bike Wrench
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    How do you think the residents of the "bike only" streets are going to feel when they're not allowed to park their cars in their driveways or in front of their homes.

    I think Portland is doing a lot to enhance bike safety in a town where its still easier to get around by bike than any other town I've lived in. But I don't think its right to tell people they can't drive down the streets they live on.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    Nice idea for people who bike a lot, but what about the other 90%? It ain`t gonna fly because of that. I think MTT`s statement about this being a "car culture" is exactly right. What makes most sense to me is more education so that bicyclists get the rights and fully comply with the responabilities that we already have. The laws in most places are already in place to allow us to ride safely, they just aren`t enforced. And it doesn`t help that most of us break a lot of traffic laws at least sometimes, others quite regularly.

  6. #6
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    I agree...get your long lost automobile driving brother to give you a vehicle.

  7. #7
    ong
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    I've always thought a really sensible approach would be to designate a number of streets as bicycle-friendly streets (Portland has "bike boulevards," but by and large they're just normal through streets that pose no impediment to cars). These streets would have large decorative planters or other obstacles every 4-5 blocks, which are impassible for cars, but not for cyclists or pedestrians (e.g., they have a three foot gap in each direction). These streets are thus no longer "through streets" for motorized vehicles, so traffic will be greatly reduced, making them ideal thoroughfares for bicyclists. If you've got one of these streets every six to ten blocks in both directions, you've essentially installed a pretty effective alternative transportation grid, and you haven't blocked anyone off from their precious driveways!

  8. #8
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    Portland also needs better weather to call itself Biketown.

    I'm from Portland originally, but have not spent much time there in 15 years or so. My wife had a conference there this fall and we stayed downtown. I was impressed with the number of people riding bikes, especially since the weather was typically crap. But, if you take away the fixie hipsters making sure everyone could see them toughing it out in the rain (getting soaked becuase they obviously can't be caught wearing proper rain gear) there really didn't seem to be more serious commuters than many other big towns.

    This reminds me of a subject for another thread...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeylessChuck
    Portland also needs better weather to call itself Biketown.

    I'm from Portland originally, but have not spent much time there in 15 years or so. My wife had a conference there this fall and we stayed downtown. I was impressed with the number of people riding bikes, especially since the weather was typically crap. But, if you take away the fixie hipsters making sure everyone could see them toughing it out in the rain (getting soaked becuase they obviously can't be caught wearing proper rain gear) there really didn't seem to be more serious commuters than many other big towns.

    This reminds me of a subject for another thread...
    I would agree with this except that it really does pick up in the summer time when the weather is better (like anywhere else). I lived across the river in Vancouver and worked in Portland until 3 years ago when I moved away and loved the bike lanes and how bike friendly it was. I didn't care much for riding across the Glen Jackson bridge into Portland when it was raining though because the bike lane is right down the middle and can become raging stream when it rains hard enough- plus the grit kicked up from the freeway traffic on either side of you is a real treat. But it was very doable there unless it was icy and I liked it. Actually the only complaint I ever had was the other bikers and how unfriendly they were most of the time. Where I am now most riders pass each other and nod, wave, or say hello; in Portland it seemed like riders didn't even want to make eye contact.

  10. #10
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    9 months of drizzle get to the best of them. Otherwise they woulda been a little happier to see you!

  11. #11
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyRider
    Actually the only complaint I ever had was the other bikers and how unfriendly they were most of the time. Where I am now most riders pass each other and nod, wave, or say hello; in Portland it seemed like riders didn't even want to make eye contact.
    I get that a lot down here in the Bay Area, too. The "biker scowl," like I'm too busy concentrating to acknowledge you or you're not worth acknowledging because you're not a "real cyclist" since you aren't riding a road bike and wearing a spandex clown suit.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  12. #12
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    I think more so than the city assisting in the image of Portland being a "bike town." The people who commute everyday have helped create a culture of Portland, Oregon becoming known as a bike friendly city.
    Fightline
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    --Derek--

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