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8 responses to “Will Seattle Always Be Second Fiddle to Portland?”

  1. Gary

    Seattle has ripped off the Cycling community since day 1. R.L.Thompson asked for more money when he built the roads “for bicyclists” and turned them into 4 lane car roads…

    Seattle does not have the bicycling culture that Portland has. You can see it in the downtown buildings. Ours are skyscrapers which laugh at the puny pedestrians, Portland has “Portlandia” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portlandia) A sculpture that reaches out to those on the street. (Even if inside the building is a rat warren with tiny windows…) But the whole scale of the buildings is more on a human scale. Portland didn’t build the last bit of freeway, we did. Instead they put in light rail which for all it’s faults is the right way to move people not just cars. It’s the whole attitude, people not cars, which translates to bicycles as people transportation that Seattle lacks. There is a whole generational gap that Seattle will have to overcome to ever be on par with Portland.

  2. Gary

    Just check this video out on a bike move in Portland..


    That shows how far Seattle has to go…

  3. Gary

    (note that video was shot three years ago….2007!)… how many bike moves have you seen in Seattle? Yes we have hills, but really, if you look at the loads people are carrying it’s not that much per rider.

  4. Gary

    Check out the Long Beach video…


    They use the bike corrals of Portland as an example of bicycle parking on city streets….ever see any of those in Seattle?

    years ahead of Seattle… I wonder if we will ever catch up.

  5. Adam Bejan Parast

    Gary Seattle has bike corrals.

  6. Michael Snyder

    We have bike moves here in Seattle too. Check out Haulin Colin: http://www.haulincolin.com/movebybike.html

    I also disagree that Seattle has to be second to Portland, we just have to think differently than Portland.

    Instead of running a grid of bike lanes, why not take some of the slopes and either take a wide but low traffic residential street or a hillside that currently isn’t used, or a hillside park, and turn it into a low-slope switchback trail that lets even weak riders climb the hill with a load of groceries?

    Instead of just having a steep slope, why not have a pay per use tow-line or escalator in some spots? Or just run a metro bus more frequently on routes that help cyclists shortcut the steep climbs by catching a bus? (That is what I do sometimes, I catch the #44 from Ballard to the top of Phinney Ridge, and then I hop off an bicycle.)

    We have options, they just won’t be the same options as Portland has.

  7. RJ


    *I* like climbing hills!

    Sometimes I ADD steeper ones to my commute! pttbhh!! 😉

    ..I might be an Odd Duck, though. 😀

  8. Julian

    Interesting analysis, fits my informal impressions too. But when you know the friendly routes, the between neighborhood stuff can work.

    My fantasy is to see neighborhoods like Ballard transformed with neighborhood greenways (portland newspeak for bike boulevards) for all the local errand stuff, with separated cycletracks or bike paths for connectivity between neighborhoods (which we’re quite close to having, from Ballard at least – downtown and east to UW are two of my favorite paths). And come on, SDOT, get off your tuchus and install more corrals – what are they waiting for? Ballard Ave is crying out for onstreet bike parking.

    I like the bike elevator/tow-line concept as a “first in US” showoff concept (saw a picture of one somewhere up in northern europe), although an electric shuttle-bus for peds and bikes might be easier to implement. Still, Portland’s got a freaking aerial tram, so it’s be hard to brag too much about that one. Whatever we do, will a “—bomb” event follow?

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