I’d love to see more Biketown bikes under the tree!

OK friends, we’re about to shut this thing down for a few days so we can connect with family and enjoy a break for the holiday. Taylor is back home in Denver (and getting ready to shove off to Europe for the month of January), and I’ve got family in town for Christmas and it’s my daughter’s 20th birthday on Friday. But before we go, I wanted to ask one question:

If you could put just one cycling-related thing on your wishlist this year, what would it be?

Don’t take the easy way out on this. I want you to think about it and share only one, very specific thing. The more realistic the wish is, the better. Like, wishing for a specific bike project is better than just saying, “I want Portland to have 30% bike mode share.”

And be honest! If your mind and heart goes toward something for yourself, like a new bike, then share that. It doesn’t have to be advocacy-related. And we’ll assume we all want more homes for the homeless and more food for the hungry, so if you don’t have to wish for those things even if they are first in your heart. On a similar note, please read all responses with an open and kind mind. This will be a judgment-free zone.

I’ll go first:

My wish from Cycling Santa would be 5,000 more bikes for our bike share fleet.

I think Biketown is the closest thing Portland has to a silver bullet when it comes to increasing bicycle mode share and hastening the cultural and political shifts necessary to move the needle on ridership after years of stagnation and declines. PBOT has done an admirable job managing the system with their partners from Lyft and Nike and it is very frustrating that we haven’t doubled-down on our investment to give Biketown what it needs most: more bikes. We continue to expand the service area and expand access to the system for low-income riders; but the overall number of bikes has only grown by 500 bikes (to 1,500 total) since it launched in 2016. That’s nowhere near enough bikes. If PBOT wants to beat back the haters and get more return on their admirable recent investments in infrastructure projects — especially in east Portland — they need to flood the streets with Biketown bikes.

So Cycling Santa, I’ve been a very good boy, stuff your sleigh with bike share bikes and spread the joy of riding to all!

What’s your wish?

Have a great holiday everyone. Please follow PBOT and other government alerts about the incoming storm and don’t use the roads unless you have to. Barring any major emergencies, we’ll see you back here on Monday the 26th.

Much love and cheer from the entire BikePortland crew!

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