When I stop and look around, I see more people embracing bicycling every which way. In my neighborhood over the last week, I’ve seen kids biking to school on their own, several parent-chaperoned ”bike buses” (with parents I didn’t think would ever bike commute!), crowded bike racks at the grocery store, a pile of bikes at the local playground and people coming and going on bikes who are clearly commuting to and from work.
The movement is happening, and by many indications, it’s looking toward Neighborhood Greenways. What’s a Greenway? It’s a pleasant family-friendly street where it’s common to see families enjoying a bicycle ride together, kids walking to school or to the park, and even the occasional on-street basketball game.
Greenways are often near arterials or connect arterials, providing a quiet, low-traffic, low-speed, low-stress route for walking and biking in a community. I’m sure you can imagine a few candidates in your own neighborhood that would make ideal Greenways — maybe even the one outside your living room window. They’ll be enticing for your interested-but-afraid-of-traffic neighbor who really wants to bike more. Or at all! They’re cheap, easy and not just about bikes. Portland has ‘em, and we want ‘em.
In Portland, these streets are quickly forming a cohesive network that’s turning bicycling into a relaxing, safe and sensible mode of transportation for short trips by everyday Portlanders. By solving neighborhood concerns around safe walking and biking, these new neighborhood streets have also brought an increased sense of community and an improved quality of life for their residents.
We’re in a bit of luck! This week a couple of Greenway gurus are in town from Portland to share how Greenways have made a significant difference in their city.
Mark Lear and Greg Raisman
from the Portland Bureau of Transportation
Thursday, Sept. 22
7 to 9 p.m.
University of Washington, Savery Hall 264
Please join us, and invite your friends through Facebook.