Vagabond Shark

Ideas, Bikes, Art, Design, Architecture, Politics, Tech, Software

One reason people don’t bike outside Portland

Posted by Peter W on March 8, 2007

I think this image does a good job showing why more people don’t ride outside Portland. The “low traffic” roads that people are most comfortable riding on are highlighted, and you can tell that Portland (on the right side of the image) beats the pants off all of Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Washington County in terms of number and connectedness of low traffic roads. I didn’t include dedicated bike trails but there even fewer of those than there are low traffic roads.

A few ideas for improving the situation:

  1. Strengthen (or at least establish) the Safe Routes To Schools program in suburbia. Ideally the SR2S grassroots groups for each school would pressure the cities, county, and Metro to improve neighborhood road connectivity so kids would have low traffic roads to get to school on.
  2. Improve bike-route signing on existing low traffic roads (I believe we have none currently). We should get someone like Roger Geller working for WashCo Land Use and Transportation.
  3. Convince the cities and county to design a decent grid-based road network plan for new development (perhaps using half or full closures for volume control on neighborhood roads. The current maze-like neighborhoods that developers build without guidance are insane.

Any other ideas?

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