A blue print for improving cycling in Kelowna

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Portland Oregon has just been recognized as a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

This is an extremely high level only received by one other much smaller city, Davis California. Since there is no need for us to “reinvent the wheel” lets take a look at what Portland has done to be so recognized.

Portland made a concerted effort several years ago to achieve this level. They put together a comprehensive plan and acted on it. They set goals and then worked hard to achieve them.

You can find the link here:

http://www.commissionersam.com/sam_adams/2006/02/platinum_a_nine.html

Here are a few of the nine items quoted verbatim – please take a look at the rest. This is truly a model that we could use if the political and bureaucratic will existed in our fair town.

“Significant enhancement of Portland’s existing bikeway network, including installing 700 markings on bicycle boulevards and installing bikeway destination signs and maps across town, funding more bicycle staple racks, installing two to five bicycle oases in Hawthorne, and addressing missing links in the bikeways.”

“A comprehensive update of Portland’s Bicycle Master Plan, including incorporating innovative techniques, such as advance bicycle boxes and shared lane markings, and a refinement of the bikeway network priorities.”

“Expanded programs with law enforcement, including police handing out free bicycle lights, the creation of a web site to report bicycle thefts, and bicycle crashes and near misses, and neighborhood bicycle safety committees that address local bicycle safety issues.”

Below the nine points at the web page mentioned above is a comments section. If you look down the list a bit there is a critical comment by Terry Parker – well stated but making the point that cycling infrastructure is expensive and does not solve congestion problems. Right below that is a reply by Commissioner Sam Adams (seems to be the boss in this endeavor but I don’t know his actual job).

In Sam Adam’s reply he mentions “People who drive alone to get from one point to another when they have another viable travel options are my lowest priority for speed of travel.” What a novel idea. We need this fellow in Kelowna!!

How do you think Kelowna compares?

John.

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