Tuesday 24 November 2015

Embracing the trike

We arrived in Portland, Oregon on a wet and cold evening on the 31st of October. There was an immediate emphasis on public transport right from the moment we arrived in Portland, as we travelled to the accommodation from the airport.

As Portland is renowned throughout the world as being a city with an extensive public transit system, it was great to experience it over the time we were there. The system of light rail, streetcar, aerial tram and bus takes commuters anywhere they would need to go within the Urban Growth boundary in a quick, comfortable and convenient manner.

The Urban Growth Boundary within which encompasses the city of Portland was an interesting topic of research whilst there. There are many positive factors associated with it such as the ongoing development around transit lines and infrastructure enabling easy accessibility. Their Urban Growth Boundary also acts as a barrier of protection of farming land and creative spaces. Despite the many positive aspects of the UGB, its presence also creates a number of negative effects such as making housing unaffordable and therefore leading to an increase in homelessness rates throughout the city, which appeared to be a big issue there. 
Meeting with Franklin Jones and learning about the B-Line initiative was particularly interesting also. 

The concept of the trike and the way, in which it works to sustainably deliver products to the ‘urban core of Portland,’ is just remarkable. Through the use of the trike, the company has been able to replace over 100,000 vans and trucks over the past 7 years and kept 18 tons of CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere. The primary aim of this company was to reduce food miles and create a more livable city through using the urban consolidation to reduce the number of trucks on the road and increase the number of trikes.

Katherine Petrentsis


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