The League of American Bicyclists just raised the bar on their Bicycle Friendly Communities program. Portland has been designated a Platinum level community by this national standard for “bike-y-ness”. While we certainly think Portland is deserving of praise, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, along with many others, has often wished that the bar was higher. Too often we feel that city and region have been resting on their laurels. We also heard from opponents of investing in bike infrastructure that we have over-invested, or, “We are already Platinum, why do more?”.
The League heard this concern loud and clear and has announced a new higher standard of Diamond. Read more about it on their blog at: http://blog.bikeleague.org/blog/2012/09/beyond-platinum-creating-world-class-biking-cities-in-the-u-s/. In a nutshell, each city that has attained Platinum will be given a call to action catered to the city. We can do better and we are ready to push Portland leaders to do better.
“Attaining Diamond designation will involve an individualized challenge tailored to each community. The League will conduct a detailed audit for each city and work with community leaders to create clear 5-, 10- and 15-year goals for important factors like bicycle mode share, land use, crashes, network connectivity and bike culture.
The primary measure to Diamond designation: The number of people riding and citizen satisfaction. Cities will delve into a more detail evaluation of ridership and level of service, using standard methods of measure like the American Community Survey and National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, but also more challenging and broader tools such as Copenhagen’s Bicycle Account.
The end goal: American communities that rival top international cycling cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam with world-class facilities, like protected bike lanes - and so much more.”
So here’s your chance to tell us what you think should be the clear 5-, 10- and 15- year goals for Portland. I’ll get you started by sharing that we need get to 10%, 15% and then 25% mode share. We need more recreational trails, both paved and mountain biking. And we need to get our crashes down. Post your thoughts in comments.