Portland Elects Cyclist Mayor; Obama Draws 8K Supporters on Bikes

On Tuesday, voters in Portland, Oregon elected Sam Adams as their next mayor. A former Congressional staffer and current Portland city commissioner, Adams — who is a cyclist — ran on a platform that emphasized environmental and progressive growth initiatives, including, in the words of the Oregonian, "use [of] the Portland Streetcar and better planning to spur urban renewal." Adams received strong support from the livable streets community, which helped earn him a 52-34 percent margin of victory.

There is speculation that the Adams camp got a last-minute boost from Barack Obama, who came to town ahead of Tuesday’s primary and drew a crowd of some 75,000with an estimated 8,000+ arriving on bicycles. As quoted on BikePortland.org, Obama responded with some fairly breathtaking comments on transportation policy.

“If we are going to solve our energy problems we’ve got to think long term. It’s time for us to be serious about investing in alternative energy. It’s time for us to get serious about raising fuel efficiency standards on cars. It’s time that the entire country learn from what’s happening right here in Portland with mass transit and bicycle lanes and funding alternative means of transportation.

That’s the kind of solution that we need for America. That’s the kind of truth-telling that we are going to do in this campaign and when I am President of the United States of America.”

How remarkable is it that a presidential candidate — or virtually any politician in higher office — would talk about transit and bike lanes without making fun of them? Still, as BikePortland Editor Jonathan Maus notes:

These are all good signs; but what happens on the campaign trail is not
the same as real change. It will take the work of voters, local
leaders, and advocates to seize this moment in history and work
together to push the pendulum toward more sustainable, human powered
cities.

At the very least, it looks like Obama may be willing to get this conversation started on a national level.

  • i think obama is the best bet for those of us who care about bicycles, and better designed/planned cities.

  • That was a film so intesely targetted at latte sipping liberals, that it had my jaw hanging open. Are we such a political force that someone has made a science of advertising to us? OMG.

    Sam Adams would have gotten my vote, based on that commercial.

  • terry wagar

    In portland oregon, Joan Wagar and Eric Carlson are in A Murder conspiracy together.
    And Clackamas Walmart are acttively helping them by hideing Eric’s employment there from me and my family.
    For over A year now Eric Carlson has been going by the name gashel, last name unknown by me, he dyed his hair black, and Walmart agreed to hide his Identity from my daughter, who also worked at that store.
    Joan and Eric have friends in Authority protecting Joan and Eric from prosecution.
    I have reported this repeatedly to the Authority’s and they are ignoring Joan and Eric’s CONSPIRACY.
    I would be more than happy to Testify to this but the Authority’s are covering this up so my testimony would simply dissapear.
    My name is Terry Wagar and Im backing up these charges.
    Nomatter how many people Joan and Eric poisoned the Authority’s here in portland Oregon refuse to arrest them.
    Im making these charges public because of the blatent coverup of these charges.