While bikes are on the rise in many cities across the US and Europe, there’s a bit of alarming news lately. Thought of as the most bike-loving city in the country, Portland, OR has stagnated at only a 6% mode share for years. Even worse, a new quasi-scientific poll found that students at Portland State University, the city’s largest academic institution, were actually ditching their bikes in favor of driving more.
Such news typically sends the educated cycling masses into fits of over-analysis and explanation: either the data is inaccurate, the change is temporary, the numbers will improve once projects XYZ are finished, or they simply accept the cause is lost due to lack of political will or failure to frame the cause sufficiently. It’s a little like watching the 5 stages of accepting death, but all at the same time.