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Wed, 01 Jan 2014 18:41:29 -0800
This is a follow-up piece to our "Portland 2010: Both More and Less than Paradise", publisher here three years ago after our first trip together to the Rose City, when we focussed on that town's famous bicycle infrastructure.
This time, though we traveled entirely by bicycle or walking we took a broader view of Portland and how it serves all modes of travel—bicycles, cars, walking, buses, light rail, trains, and even barges. And of course the aerial tramway! We also made deliberate efforts to explore all four quadrants of the city
Although in just a week we were not able to go into great depth, we achieved a good overview of a city that has taken some historical advantages—including a small-block grid and a decision in the 1970s to stop building freeways—and built a transportation matrix that accommodates all modes while encouraging the more efficient and community-friendly ones.
The results have been excellent: a generally happy and prosperous city where there's actually room and time to live. As a recent Bikeportland.org article points out, Portland's per-capita GDP has grown significantly int he last ten years, with that growth concentrated in the city center—which also boasts the most bicycle and transit infrastructure.
Though it's become a bit of a national sport to poke fun at Portland lately, the city really has accomplished much that bigger and better-budgeted town should envy. It is worth a good look, so click on over and peruse our reactions and photos at Sustainable City News in "Portland, Oregon: the Multi-Modal City".