Leaving the car behind and commuting by bike
Wednesday's print edition of The Oregonian has a story on Jennifer Dill, a transportation researcher at Portland State University, who is working on a project to see how bicyclists choose their routes around the city.
Published August 14, 2007 by The Oregonian
Wednesday's print edition of The Oregonian has a story on Jennifer Dill, a transportation researcher at Portland State University, who is working on a project to see how bicyclists choose their routes around the city. She's recruiting volunteers to carry GPS units on their rides. The devices will record which streets cyclists use as well as how far and fast they go.
In the video below, learn how Judie Miller and Mary Anne Cassin discovered something in common last spring. Both had taken a stab before at commuting to work on bikes. Both had abandoned the effort. Both leaned on each other to start anew.
They don't have a simple commute. Both live on the south side of Hillsdale in Portland's Southwest Hills. Theirs is no easy down and back that many eastside commuters can take advantage of. Roads twist. They rise and drop, creating blind approaches for drivers. A bike lane sometimes is the nothing more than the presence of a bike, sans the white line that usually give cyclists at least some sense of space.
But their commute has some upsides. Is there a more beautiful urban bikeway than the forested canopy of Terwilliger Drive? On a 90-degree day, the shade makes it seem more like 70. The two women work at Metro. Miller is the recycling information supervisor. Cassin is planning and development manager of the Regional Parks and Greenspaces department.
Why is where they work important to the commute? The bike culture at Metro permeates the agency, which also provides incredibly secure bike storage and ample locker rooms. The big ticket item though, is the free yearly pass given to employees. Quite often, the bus, with its handy racks in front, is a key part of their bike commute. The gem though, is that the pass allows the women to use the OHSU tram for free. It's not just an uphill climb that can be avoided. They also take it down to avoid a cumbersome tangle of torn up streets in the transition from the West Hills into the south downtown area.
Miller is so taken with her commuting that she has started blogging about it. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance offers tips and assistance for newbie and veteran bike commuters. The city of Portland has a website specifically for women who commute. There is also a blog that looks at commuting nationwide.