Saturday, February 07, 2009

Planning for Bikes Pays Off Big in Portland : TreeHugger

Planning for Bikes Pays Off Big in Portland : TreeHugger: "according to this video and accompanying article, a nascent industry has developed in Portland around bike usage. The city currently has 125 bike-related businesses, mostly small and locally-owned, covering everything from repair and custom bike building to accessories and consulting. And it is a growing industry.

The catalyst for all of this economic growth was a decision by the city to invest in designing the city for bikes. Officials say they have spent some $20 to $25 million on bicycle infrastructure over the past few years, and have plans to spend another $24 million to significantly expand Portland's bicycle network. The city also supports local bike-oriented businesses. If this seems like a lot of money to be spending on bikes, consider that an average highway interchange costs between $10 and $15 million, not including planning costs and the cost of buying up the land on which to build.

Bike-friendly planning creates many opportunities, and not just economic. Local artists have been given the chance to design unique symbols for bike lanes, giving a human touch to the traffic markings. Check out this article on the artists; here a some examples of their work."