|At 1.3%, Salem's at the top of p.2|
For bigger cities there is more hand-wringing:
- At People for bikes: "Bike commute growth has leveled off - but some cities still show the way"
- At BikePortland: "Bike commuting growth slips and Portland adds 11,000 more commutes by car"
Our Metropolitan Planning Organization has said
The SKATS MPO -- along with our local jurisdictions and ODOT -- invests in a balance of travel modes: auto, transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects.And 1.3% is the resulting "balance."
That's not balance. That's tokenism.
Our Comprehensive Plan clearly says a goal is to "decrease reliance on the SOV."
|The City could embrace these standards more passionately|
|On "implementing alternatives" from LUBA|
|Adopted benchmarks - Comprehensive Plan|
If we actually want a transportation system based on current demand only, let's acknowledge that demand for biking is still a rounding error to zero, that demand for drive-alone trips swamps everything, and that we cannot reduce reliance on the SOV.
If we want to dig in on 20th century standards and models, let's clearly state it's "highways for everybody" and the "Salem River Crossing now."
Let's be clear that we are not actually interested in making walking, biking, and busing attractive and comfortable, a realistic enough option that large numbers of citizens actually make the choice, relish the choice. Let's stop with the doilies, the garnishes, the tokens.
If on the other hand we want a city in which people actually have freedom to make real choices about the ways we move around, if we want a city that actually contributes to a reduction in the greenhouse gas burden on the world, then what we are currently doing isn't "balanced" and it's not working.
It's not what we say, it's what we do.
Here's what I think is an apples-to-apples comparison from census data, excerpted from the 2007 SKATS Regional Transportation System Plan:
|We should have seen more growth by now|
Here is data from the ACS, and it doesn't exactly line up with the report from People for Bikes. There is broad agreement, but not exact. (I'm not sure this is very important, however.) In general it shows a lack of meaningful growth for bike commuting. That's the important thing to note.
|Here's a clip from the ACS|
|The historic ACS rates are clustered|
around the margin of error
|Here's the data itself|