(May 6, 2016) – To mark National Bike Month, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and Portland Transportation Director Leah Treat joined Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack and Multnomah County Library Director Vailey Oehlke at Holgate Library to celebrate “Bike to Books” - a new, bike-friendly collaboration between the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Multnomah County Library.
As part of the collaboration between the library and the Portland Bureau of Transportation, every child who bikes to any Multnomah County library branch will receive a free bike light provided by Metro (until supplies run out). In addition, PBOT will be offering free resources to families on safe biking with kids and maps of bike routes throughout the city. Libraries around the city are also offering special “bike-themed” story times for visitors as part of Bike Month.
Books and bikes are two pillars of Portland culture. Multnomah County Library is the third-busiest public library in the United States, according to the Public Library Data Service, and has the hardest-working collection of library materials among large libraries in the U.S. In addition, Portland’s young readers bike to school in record numbers. Today, thanks to the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School Program, 43.6 percent of trips to school in Portland are on foot or by bike – the highest in the nation.
This year, PBOT is focusing its Bike Month efforts on getting families to bike more. Riding your bike to school or to the library can be simple, efficient and, most importantly, fun. Research has shown that biking to school has learning benefits for kids as well. A 2012 Danish study found that kids who biked or walked to school, rather than traveling by car or public transportation, performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration, such as solving puzzles, and that the effects lasted for up to four hours after they got to school. Biking as a family is wonderful, healthy outdoor activity the entire family can enjoy together.
“I’m excited about this collaboration between PBOT, Metro and Multnomah County Library to show kids how easy it can be to bike to the library and access the free resources and activities they offer throughout the years,” said Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick.
“I’m so pleased to be joined here today by Commissioner Novick and Councilor Stacey, along with PBOT and the library,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack. “Today, we’re bringing together three public service organizations to help create and enhance safe, healthy and thriving communities. I am grateful to the City of Portland and Metro for their contributions to this work.”
“Biking as a family lets you spend more quality time together, stay healthy and experience your community in a more personal way. Metro is dedicated to ensuring that families throughout the Portland region have safe, practical ways to ride bikes to the library, school, work or just for fun. We are excited to partner with the City of Portland and Multnomah County Libraries to increase safety for kids and parents riding bikes," said Metro Councilor Bob Stacey.
“As community hubs, libraries are all about connecting people with resources, knowledge and friendly personal assistance,” said Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke. “I’m proud to join our partners today at Holgate Library to kick off this new effort. I’m also looking forward to riding my bike and invite everyone to take a spin to your local library and get one of these cool bike lights.”
“These regional partnerships that create incentives for people of all ages to give biking a try are essential as we work to build a bike system that accommodates riders from age eight to eighty,” said PBOT Director Leah Treat. “Portland has been celebrating Bike Month since the 1970’s and we are proud to be a bicycling leader. Showing our youngest riders how fun and easy biking can be will help us continue to grow our bike-friendly city.”
Portland Bike Month runs throughout the month of May with events happening across the city sponsored by multiple organizations to encourage people of all ages to get on their bike and enjoy the spring sunshine and hundreds of miles of bike lanes and neighborhood greenways in the city of Portland.
Information about Bike Month events hosted by the Portland Bureau of Transportation can be found at:www.pdxbikemonth.com
About biking in Portland:
- In Portland, 7.2% of commuters go by bike. This is the highest percentage of bike commuters for a large American city and means more than 17,000 workers in Portland choose to bicycle. Nationally, 0.5% of commuters bicycle. In addition, 238% more people biked to work in 2010 than in 2000.
- 350 miles of bikeways are on the ground in Portland, with more than 50 more miles funded to be installed in the next few years. The 319 miles are of three types:
o 77 miles of Neighborhood Greenways
o 188 miles of bike lanes, and
o 85 miles of paths.
- Over 100 schools are served by Portland’s Safe Routes to School Program, with services that include:
o 31 traffic engineering plans designed for schools to make pick-up and drop-off safer, more efficient and less polluted and
o 40 education programs operating at schools to teach kids about traffic safety and how to be safe pedestrians and bicyclists when actively going to school.
For more facts about biking in Portland, visit: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/407660
About the Portland Bureau of Transportation:
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation. To learn more about PBOT’s efforts to encourage bicycle use and make safer routes for bicycling, see the bureau’s Active Transportation web site.
About Multnomah County Library:
Multnomah County Library is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi River, with a history that reaches back to 1864. Today, Central Library and the other 18 neighborhood libraries that make up the library system house nearly 900 computer stations for the public and a collection of two million books and other library materials. As Oregon's largest public library, Multnomah County Library serves nearly one-fifth of the state's population with a wide variety of programs and services. Learn more at www.multcolib.org.
Metro works with communities, businesses and residents in the Portland metropolitan area to chart a wise course for the future while protecting the things we love about this place. Learn more at www.oregonmetro.gov.