Portland Bicycle Paths and Trails Used More Than Ever

Getting out and about on a bicycle is becoming increasingly popular in Portland, and especially on the city’s multi-use paths and trails, according to information just released. Cyclists seem to be doing more recreational riding than ever, and using paths, lanes and corridors designed to keep them away from traffic would appear to be the method by which they will avoid the need of the services of a Portland bike injury lawyer.

Annual trail use has grown steadily from 2008 (the first year these statistics were taken) to the end of 2011. While there was a slight dip between 2009 and 2010, officials are putting that down to the very heavy rain that fell during the time the counts were being made in 2010.

The counts were carried out as part of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project and were carried out simultaneously in conjunction with Metro and 13 other cities and counties in Oregon and southwest Washington. It is hoped that the survey’s findings will help secure grant funding for construction of future bike paths, as well as giving an idea of where those trails should be situated. The numbers also give a good indication of the return on past investments, and the direct feedback from cyclists is a good means of identifying things that have been done right, as well as highlighting areas that need improvement. The figures that came back indicate bicycle trails and paths are more popular than ever.

Volunteers set up a total of 107 different counting stations throughout the 14 different regions. Cyclists were asked to fill out a questionnaire with a variety of information. When all the details were correlated, the results showed that:

  • The number of people using bicycle trails and multi-use paths in the region came to 25,229, a massive increase over the 2010 figure of 19,277. Even given the appalling weather conditions when the 2010 counts were taken, the 2011 figure is still up considerably from the previous high of about 22,000 in 2009, and well up on the 2008 figure of around 17,000 riders.
  • Of those taking advantage of the multi-use paths, men outnumbered the women by 57% to 43%. Almost 8,000 of the men were riding bicycles, whereas only 3,423 women were on bikes, compared to the 7,274 who chose to walk.
  • A good bike injury lawyer will tell you that taking your exercise on a designated bike-pedestrian trail is far safer than using public streets and highways. That message seems to be getting across, because when the numbers are broken down across the region, there were some nine million trips taken on the top five trails alone in 2011. That would seem to be reason enough to develop even greater resources for those people who prefer to use two wheels as opposed to four.
  • The Tom McCall Waterfront Park Trail was the busiest in the region, with 3.5 million users in 2011.
  • More than 2.1 million trips were taken on the Eastbank Esplanade.
  •  The South Waterfront Trail was used by 1.3 million cyclists and pedestrians.
  • The Springwater on the Willamette trail was also in the top five, with 1.2 million trips taken on it in 2011.
  • Finally, the Columbia Renaissance Trail had more than 700,000 visitors in the past year.

Cycling is great exercise, as well as being an economical and environmentally friendly way to get around. There’s no doubt, however, that using Oregon streets, roads and highways which are predominantly inhabited by cars and trucks brings a certain level of risk that some cyclists find unacceptable.

Using the available multi-use paths and trails isn’t’ the answer for everyone, of course, including those people who just want to get to work on their bike, or go to the store or deliver papers. These people often have no use other than to use the main thoroughfares, and accidents occur. More than 100 Oregon cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2011 and many hundreds more were injured.

When this happens through the negligence of another road user, it might be a very good idea to contact an experienced and reputable Portland bike injury lawyer. They will advise you to first get the medical help you need; they will then take you through the process of making a claim against the person who injured you, and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Note: The sources for this article were: bikeportland.org and bikepeddocumentation.org.