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City Council puts vote on bike plan on hold

KATU Portland: City Council puts vote on bike plan on hold

By Joe Raineri KATU News and KATU.com Staff

The Portland City Council put off voting on the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 Thursday until next week to give them some more time to think about it.

Story Published: Feb 4, 2010 at 9:14 PM PST Story Updated: Feb 4, 2010 at 9:16 PM PST

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland City Council put off voting on the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 Thursday until next week to give them some more time to think about it.

It’s a massive plan that if approved will add miles of bike paths within the city to encourage a quarter of commuter trips throughout the city to be on two wheels by the year 2030.

Dozens of cyclists came out to City Hall in support of the idea Thursday, even those who also get behind the wheel.

“People in cars benefit from people riding bikes, lower traffic and by making a safe route, because car people don’t want to hit cyclists. They would rather have cyclists have alternate routes to use,” said Jeff Bearnards.

The plan calls for making roads a little easier for cars and bicycles to share by having more routes through town dedicated to cyclists.

“It really covers everything in developing Portland into a world-class cycling city. The tools are all there,” said Roger Geller, a bicycle coordinator.

“The impact on Portland will be that we’ll have a much more up-to-date and clear blue print for making decisions about how we deal with transportation as it pertains to bicycle traffic,” said Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland.

The City Council chamber was packed during public testimony mostly with supporters of the plan. But there were a few detractors. One sticking point for some is the $600 million cost.

“That’s over six hundred million dollars so bicyclists can have an undue hierarchy bestowed on them with special privileges and immunities that further advances their ego,” said Terry Parker.

If the plan passes, a finance task force will be formed to find a way to come up with the money to pay for it.

The hearing to adopt the plan will continue at City Hall next Thursday, Feb. 11 at 3 p.m.