Portland's Bike Economy Tour and Round Table

On a Trek brand ‘Portland’ bicycle, Congressman Earl Blumenauer toured four cycling shops in NE and SE Portland before hosting a round table focused on the growing impact of cycling and cycling businesses on Portland’s economy. The Congressman visited River City, Universal Cycles, Crank, and the Bike Gallery before arriving at VeloCult for the discussion with twenty members of Portland’s cycling economy businesses.

Discussions centered on how to create a safer bike-riding experience for children and senior citizens, what the future innovation in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure might look like, and how to effectively advocate for increased cycling funding and supportive legislation.

“The work you’re doing is part of a broader vision of how we can save the world. Creating a strong cycling economy encourages healthier communities, eases congestion cheaply and sustainably, and directs money into the local economy far more effectively than automobile travel can,” Congressman Blumenauer stated.

A bike advocate from his earliest days in the Oregon State Legislature, Congressman Blumenauer’s efforts have helped shape the state and region with bike friendly policies and infrastructure that continue to generate positive results for health, livability, and the economy, and quadrupling Portland’s bicycling rate to the highest in the country.

What Does A Cycling Economy Look Like?

  • Portland's 235,508 households save a total of $1.1 billion on personal transportation annually, approximately $800 million of which stays in the regional economy.
  • Cycling contributes $90 million annually to Portland’s economy and between 850-1150 jobs.
  • The total number of bicycle-related companies has grown exponentially over the last decade to around 150.
  • Portland currently hosts more than 4000 annual races, rides, events and tours. This has nearly doubled since 2006, when the number of rides was 2100.
  • A comparison of 58 projects in 11 U.S. cities found that bicycle improvement projects created 46% more jobs per dollar than road-only projects.  On average, a roadway improvement project can be expected to create 7.8 jobs per $1 million spent, compared to a bicycle improvement project that creates an average of 11.4 jobs per $1 million spent.
  • Bicycle traffic across the Hawthorne Bridge increased between 1993 and 2012 from approximately 1,920 trips to 6,889 trips per weekday.
  • From 1994 to 2011, cycling experienced a 268% increase in the city of Portland, while auto use declined 9.3%.
  • Portlanders drive 20% less than the national average, meaning that they have $2,500 more per family to spend more on housing, healthcare, education, or shopping in local bookstores.
  • Recreational bicycle travel accounts for $400 million of Oregon's annual $9 billion tourism industry.
  • Bicycling is a $6.5 billion business nationally—providing more than 70,000 jobs across the United States.


fp-button1 fp-button2 fp-button3 fp-button440-button