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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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The sweet sounds of silence


Scientists in the arctic are working on an extensive project to record nothing.  Well, not nothing exactly but the absence of human-generated noise.  Turns out, we humans are pretty noisy.


Neighborhood Greenways are quiet!

Image: Peter van Agtmael/Magnum,

for The New York Times

When you're in the city the general din of urban life is pervasive and inescapable.  But there are opportunities for a little more peace and quiet when you're walking or bicycling.

The Bureau of Transportation is building an inter-connected network of Neighborhood Greenways - residential streets that are improved for walking and bicycling.  We have a lot of goals for Greenways, but quietness isn't one of them.  However, every time I turn from a bike lane onto a Greenway the quiet is the first thing I notice.  It's a far cry from Alaska wild quiet, I imagine, but it's a significant difference from most of the streets in town with bike lanes.

So the next time you're looking for a little peace and quiet while riding or walking around town, opt for a Neighborhood Greenway and see if you too can hear and feel the difference.


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