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(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Portland’s Eastbank Esplanade got some major national props this week after being named one of the “Top urban bike paths” in the United States by USA Today.
The third-largest newspaper in America named 19 paths (I’m so glad they didn’t call them “trails”) to their list. Factors they kept in mind while making their selections included:
- commuting arteries that give cyclists direct access to business districts while avoiding city traffic and making few street crossings.
- separate from traffic for all or most of its length.
- Does the path offer exceptional views of, and access to, the city?
- Is it good for recreational riders and tourists?
- Does the city take pride in it?
I think it qualifies on all but that first one.
And here’s what the USA Today had to say about our beloved Esplanade:
Named the country’s best biking city by ‘Bicycling Magazine’ in 2012, Portland boasts one of the densest networks of dedicated bike paths, greenways, and ‘bike boulevards’ around. For a one-two punch of Portland’s best, take the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade along the Willamette River and switch to the Springwater Trail Corridor. The highlight of the 1.5-mile esplanade is a 1,200 foot ‘floating walkway’—the longest of its kind in the U.S. according to Portland Parks and Rec.
In honor of this recognition, I figured I’d delve into our photo archives…
We’re lucky to have the Esplanade. Now we need a lot more paths just like it criss-crossing the entire city. It’s almost 10 years old now (built in November 2004) and it leaves me wondering… When will we ever tackle a big, signature project like this again?