Did You Know?

Only 11 percent of Chicagoland residents ride transit to work.

Not just a bike ride from Portland to Portland

Active Trans recently received a visit from a team of architects and city planners that is taking a “wheels-on” approach to researching transportation policy.

The team, made up of a dozen British architects and city planners, are cy/cling from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place, London. The project, named Portland to Portland, is a transcontinental research project and charity ride that will cover an amazing 4,455 miles in 76 days.

The ride began to take shape when the City of London guaranteed an investment of 1.5 Billion Euros over the next 10 years for bicycle infrastructure.

In order to apply these funds effectively, team members decided to help the process by creating a cohesive planning document that will help city officials and planners in London and elsewhere.

Their route takes the riders through fifteen cities, including Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Bristol, England. The goal is to learn successful promotion strategies, design principles, governing practices and mistakes in bicycle planning through meetings with city officials and planners, bicycle organizations, bicycle shop owners and others.

After gathering input from meetings, a formal survey and their first-hand experiences, the riders plan to produce a report summarizing their findings and recommendations.

Four members of Portland to Portland met with the Active Transportation Alliance during a recent stop in Chicago, and shared their experiences and insight regarding cycling from both commuter and tourist perspectives.

The riders found the repurposing of inactive rail-lines for bicycle trails to be very convenient and pleasant. In most places they visited, they found drivers friendly and accommodating. The Portland to Portland members said they were impressed with the number of community bicycle organizations and cycling events in U.S. cities.

The two groups shared their perspectives and experiences, and discussed the history of bicycle politics in Chicago, current infrastructure improvements in the region, and future bicycling-oriented programs in London and Chicago.

We wish the riders a safe and enlightening journey, and are excited to see results of their findings.

Photo above (courtesy of Greg Bartley) features the participants in the Portland to Portland project. This blog post was written by David Taxman, a volunteer contributor to the Active Trans blog.