Ideas, inspirations and discussionson creating better, smarter cities

Getting to 2100

The 2100 Blog

Bicycle Transportation Alliance Turns 25!

Rex
Rex Burkholder, co-founder, BTA; Ray Thomas, Bicycle Legal Clinic; Mayor Bud Clark

Rex Burkholder, co-founder, BTA; Ray Thomas, Bicycle Legal Clinic; Mayor Bud Clark (whoop, whoop!)

What was cycling like 25 years ago in America’s Cycling City, Portland, Oregon? Here’s a story I tell:

When I commuted from my neighborhood to downtown I would pass very few cyclists. We would wave at each other and marvel that another hardy soul would dare the hostile streets, rough roads, harassment from motorists and police. No bike lanes, skinny sidewalks on the bridges, high speed traffic, no respect. I often claimed that I knew all the other cyclists–an easy feat as there were about five of us riding to work. Then I was corrected by Mia Birk, who came to Portland in the early 90s to run the City’s Bicycle Program. She said that they had done counts and I was wrong–there were fifteen!

O how far we’ve come!

Portland is now a city defined by cycling–with over $100 Million annual economic contribution from bicycle related business, Sunday Parkways events drawing 100,000 riders a year, and the only bicycle and pedestrian focused Master’s program in the country at Portland State University.

The BTA celebrates its 25th on May 28, 2015 in Portland. Details here.

About Gettingto2100

Why Getting to 2100? The next century will be a test: can humans use their intelligence and foresight to successfully transition from our consumption-fueled economy to one that balances the needs of humans with the Earth’s available resources. Getting to 2100 aims to be a forum for sharing of good ideas and good works. Got a good example or a new idea? Share it with the world!

Recent Posts
Archives
Categories