ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010 (with periodic long breaks)
The Eugene Weekly’s news editor, Alan Pittman, has brought to our attention an exciting new development for Springfield cyclists.
He did this in a post on the Weekly’s cycling blog about a PowerPipedream — I mean a PowerPoint — presentation regarding the city of Springfield’s “Urban Design Plan and Implementation Strategy.” It was delivered to the city in June by a Portland planning firm called Crandall Arambula.
The PowerPipedream presentation includes 209 slides! Two hundred and nine! My sympathies to all those who actually had to sit through that presentation.
Anyway, Pittman lovingly writes about this “plan”:
Springfield may have leaped ahead of Eugene as far as progressive bike planning for its downtown. Eugene’s much ignored, vague downtown plan provides little for bikes, but a proposed new plan for Springfield’s downtown includes a host of cutting edge protected bikeways—the gold standard of bike transportation. From Springfield’s PowerPoint presentation on its proposed plan, here’s a picture of what a protected bikeway might look like:
Sure. Might look like that. And monkeys, as they say, might fly out of Alan Pittman’s ears.
Note: The buildings on the left. The shape of the license plate on that car on the right. The bell-bottomed, metro-sexual urban cowboy in the foreground. On second thought, no, a protected bikeway in Springfield will not look like that. Ever.
First of all, that dude in the foreground would not be on the bikeway, because he would have had the crap beat out of him immediately upon entering the city limits.
But I learned other interesting things from Pittman’s post: That this is not a “plan,” but a “proposed plan.” And that Eugene’s downtown plan is “much ignored.” Really? You don’t say?
Anyway Pittman and others may be excited by dreams of these bikeways, i.e. the “gold standard.” But what the Weekly’s blog inexplicably neglected to mention was that the Springfield plan also included what many see as the “platinum standard” of bicycle transit.
This is the miraculous device known technically by planners and bureaucrats as the “mobile bicycle transit portal,” aka MBTP.
You are riding down the bike lane on Coburg Road, say, and you come upon this. You simply ride your bike up this ramp and into the back of the mobile portal …
… and you are instantly disgorged onto a sunny protected bikeway in Copenhagen, Denmark, where you are stripped of your helmet (as nothing bad ever happens there), provided with a bell (if you don’t already have one) and given free access to the Danish national health care system.
As you can see, these portals are built in ordinary 18-wheeler semi trailers so that — much like Saddam Hussein’s mobile biological weapons laboratories — they can be discreetly moved about — so cyclists all over town have equal access to Danish bicycle culture. (Also like Saddam Hussein’s mobile biological weapon’s laboratories, “We know where they are … east, west, south and north somewhat.” — Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003.)
So far, however, the Springfield plan gives little or no information about price, funding mechanisms or projected dates of installation for the MBTPs — or for that matter for the “protected bikeways.” Really? You don’t say?
But, hey, it’s in a PowerPoint! The really great thing about PowerPoints is that — unlike those old plans that were presented in three-ring binders — they do not sit around on a shelf gathering dust. They sit around on someone’s hard drive gathering dust. But, by God, they allow us all to dream, and everybody loves to dream.
So, here’s another picture from the PowerPipedream:
I don’t know about you, but I love art, and I was so excited to see that the plan includes a large-scale public art project, to wit: the installation of dozens of human-figure silhouettes, cut from steel and plywood, painted black, and propped up on the sidewalks, street corners and even in the crosswalks, where they will serve, additionally, as traffic calming devices.
(Now that I think about it, Eugene could use something like this as well.)
Oh, did I mention that the Springfield (proposed) plan also envisions high-speed rail in Springfield? High-speed rail!
“It will take time,” one of the slides sagely predicts, “to build out all of the public actions identified in the plan.” Really? You don’t say?