Voted No. 1 Best Overall city for cycling by Bicycling Magazine, Portland has close to 230 miles of bikeways, with 400 more on the way. Recently, it invested $34 million to build a bikeway on the new Eastside Esplanade, the longest floating walkway in the United States.
Portland's Create-a-Commuter program is the first project in the United States that provides low-income adults with commuter bicycles as well as a session on commuter safety. The bikes come outfitted with lights, a lock, a helmet, a pump, tool kits, maps and rainwear.
Portland has set six criteria for a bicycle-friendly community, five of which are targeted at curbing automobile use and traffic. The criteria include good facilities for bicycling, an urban design oriented to people and not automobiles, traffic restrictions in residential neighborhoods, stricter enforcement of traffic regulations, better traffic education for motorists and nonmotorists, and restrictions on automobile use.
"There is less congestion [and] traffic, and there are no vast parking lots," said Jen Fox of the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, who lived in Portland for a year and a half before moving back to Pittsburgh. "Portland is a role model."