I love bikes, and I love it when places embrace the wonderful invetion, Portland Oregon has arguably done the best job of bike-loving in North America. The International Herald Tribune has a really nice article about what has made Portland the mecca of bike culture in North America.
Mia Birk, a former city employee who helped lead Portland’s efforts to expand cycling in the 1990s, said the original goals were rooted in environmental and public health, not the economy.
“That wasn’t our driving force,” Birk said. “But it has been a result, and we’re comfortable saying it is a positive result.”
Birk now helps run a consulting firm, Alta Planning and Design, which advises other cities on how to become more bicycle-friendly. In a report for the City of Portland last year, the firm estimated that 600 to 800 people worked in the cycling industry in some form. A decade earlier, Birk said in an interview, the number would have been more like 200 and made up almost entirely of employees at retail bike stores.