Portland always seems to be in the news because it’s considered one of America’s greenest cities. It’s also referred to as Bike City, USA because of its ranking as the top bicycling city in the U.S. and the city with the highest percentage of bike commuters. But it’s not a result of jumping on the green train — Portland has long been a bicycle-friendly city. In the 1970s, long before it was commonplace, the city encouraged cycling by creating bike lanes on major roads.
And in the last decade, Portland’s two-wheeling community has shown its appreciation by helping grow and nurture the city’s economy.
In addition to riders, Portland has a large cycling industry – from independent bike frame builders to local cycle clothing companies. Of course, there are also Portland-headquartered national companies such as Nike and Columbia Sportswear that contribute to the city’s bicycling interests, but a recent New York Times piece focused on local businesses like Team Estrogen, an online retailer that sells cycling clothing for women.
Are you over my Portland Post? Well, dig in, because yes, here is yet another example of G Living Portland Style. The PBS series, voiced over by Brad Pitt e², has featured Portland as a city designed to the human scale. Meaning a city which has been built to give you a sense of place. You are able to walk across a street without getting killed, or feeling like an alien amongst the 6 lanes of cars. Just simple old school European village concepts re-shaped for the modern over crowded world we live in now. I know here in L.A. my favorite spots are Main Street Venice/Santa Monica and 3rd Street in Santa Monica, just because of the restrictions on cars. Get rid of the cars and all of the sudden a city feels so much better. You can actually hear birds, trees, and the person next to you. Shocking I know.
I have always thought Venice should ban all cars and have a simple Light Rail system and expanding of the Canals. It would become the most prized place to live in L.A. They could setup parking garages in key locations to all the tourist and residence. If they did something like that, I might even stay in L.A.
If you live in Portland, chances are you’re a bike loving, tree hugging, raincoat wearing, beer guzzling pale faced greenie. I see you shaking your heads. But lets not generalize, or anything, lets just look at the facts. Portland has more beer pubs than Starbucks, more bike lanes, than highways, and more rain than, well anywhere on earth.
My guess is that there are no limits to loving your bike if you live in Portland, am I right? For example, it would be completely normal to say, use bikes as moving vans, or ride around in big groups completely naked. (naked Portlanders on bikes after the jump)
The media definitely makes the rest of us feel that way, when we hear things like, Portland has more bike commuters than any other U.S. city. Portland’s city officials even encourage their citizens to stop driving completely, by giving them bike lanes, bike traffic lights and even bike parking. Oh yeah, not to mention the light rail trains with bike friendly spots inside the trains. Green freak land is really the only good description I can think of for this place.
All of this encouragement to get on a bike has had a major effect on the cities economy. In addition to growing the number of riders, Portland has developed a thriving bike industry. There are independent bike frame builders, bike shops, and local cycle clothing companies. Of course, there are also Portland-headquartered national companies such as Nike and Columbia Sportswear that contribute to the city’s bicycling interests, but a recent New York Times piece focused on local businesses like Team Estrogen, an online retailer that sells cycling clothing for women.