A couple of stories in this morning’s Oregonian highlight two ways Oregon is taking a common sense approach to sustainability and giving commuters lots of choices besides cars.
The first item is about a topic I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, how to make bike commuting a viable alternative to sitting in traffic in single-occupancy cars. The City of Portland is celebrating National Bike Month by handing out bagels and coffee.
Big deal you might say. But one of the studies I wrote about found that a culture that is accepting of bicycling has a tangible connection to supporting bike commuting. These simple gestures—especially from the City’s Transportation Bureau—can go a long way toward biking as an accepted way of getting to and from work. This is the kind of bike-friendly culture that sparked a glowing article in the New York Times recently. The article was one of the most e-mailed on the New York Times website and it highlights Portland’s restaurants, neighborhoods and sights all of which are easily accessible by bike.
The second item highlights the 11 percent of Oregonians that telecommute to work every day or part of the work week. While the article acknowledges that telecommuting has not become as popular or pervasive as some thought it would, it points out that an estimated 16,000 people in Lane County telecommute. That is a lot of cars parked in driveways rather than crowding the roads.
Oregon—and Portland in particular—continue to be a beacon in Cascadia for the region’s forward thinking, not just in terms of policy but encouraging lifestyles that support sustainability and health.