PORTLAND,Ore. -- Portland's 2030 Bike Plan was delayed Thursday afternoon, but still expected to get a green light.
The Portland City Council will vote on whether to spend roughly $600 million dollars on about 650 miles of new bikeways over the next 20 years.
The goal - make cycling safer and more appealing. It would triple the size of Portland's existing network of bike paths, lanes and bikeways.
The public hearing lasted nearly 3three hours Thursday, but in the end the city decided to postpone the vote until next week.
Our current estimate is about $600 million dollars to build the entire network of bikeways, Roger Geller, Portland's Bicycle Coordinator, says.
He quotes Federal Census numbers that show bicycle commuting is way up since the early 1990's.
In fact, since Portland implemented its first Bike Plan in 1996 and doubled its bikeway network, it saw a cycling increase of more than 300 percent.
By 2030 Geller says one in four people may use a bike to get into Portland.
So the cities that are really world class in bicycling have created conditions so that people from nine to age 90 can get out on the roads on their bicycle and be safe.
This is going to pass - so you don't have to worry about it, Mayor Sam Adams said Thursday, after a vote was pushed back a week.
Geller adds, by improving bicycling infrastructure, more people will feel safe and cycle more - leaving more space on the roads for cars.
The big question now - who pays for it? The short answer - no one knows yet. If the council approves the plan tomorrow, a committee will be formed to find funding sources. That may include Federal Transportation dollars.
But with a price tag nearing$1 million per mile, many are asking - is this responsible spending? Near the Lloyd Center Portland taxpayers weigh in.
I think the money could go to something a little more important like job creation, Anthony Wilson said.
Jason Yates, a driver and cyclist likes half the plan.
Our society getting away from fossil fuels - I am all for that, but I think I'd want to gather more knowledge and know where those funds are going to come from.
The 2030 Bike Plan is years in the making, with input from dozens of local businesses and citizens.
In November of last year the Portland Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the plan and send it on to the Portland City Council.