bicycles are becoming more common...

Portland Department of Transportation has just released their bicycle usage statistics for 2008.

Overall, observed bicycle usage is up 28% from 2007, with bridge traffic up 15% and non-bridge traffic in major areas up 32%.

20% of all traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge was bicycle traffic, with 15% and 14% respectively for the Steel and Broadway bridges.

There were approximately 16,700 bicycle trips daily across the Hawthorne, Broadway, Steel and Burnside bridges. Southeast, Northeast, and North Portland all observed over 30% increase in bicycle traffic since 2007, with between 3,000 and 4,000 daily bicycle trips observed on some main bicycle routes.

The rate of reported bicycle crashes has stayed pretty much level for the last number of years, causing the number of crashes to number of cyclists ratio to decrease dramatically.

In the midst of all the financial crisis business going on primarily in the US, there is a lot of talk at the federal, state and local levels about creating jobs in design and implementation of new transportation infrastructure in the US - to create jobs for people who are having a hard time finding them, to encourage non-automobile forms of transportation especially for short trips, make other forms of transportation easier and more convenient, thus reducing our dependence on oil (whether foreign or otherwise) and providing cheaper and easier alternatives for people who already can't afford to drive.

I think this can only mean positive things for the transportation situation in Portland, which on a national level, is already very good. I think in general as we see the US trending more towards alternate fuels and alternate modes of transportation, we will see a lot of positive effects in our cities and even rural areas. I think this is a fantastic means of creating jobs and stimulating an economy that is in a heavy downswing. Here's to a cleaner and more connected United States of America.

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