Posts tagged with "Portland to Portland":

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Portland, Oregon to Portland Place, London: Job Done! Architects Complete Cycling Tour Across America

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ] We had a fantastic welcome in London on Saturday, a fitting and rewarding end to our great adventure. There were over a hundred riders who set off with us from Savill Gardens in Windsor Great Park. The weather was fair and The Crown Estate kindly provided coffees and bacon butties for everyone, served from the elegant gridshell of the Savill Building designed by Glenn Howells. I had selected this as our starting point for the ride into London because, not only did it provide a good meeting point at a reasonable distance from Portland Place, but back in 2005 I organised the design competition for the building—and was pleased to see it maturing so beautifully, the green oak sourced from the Royal Park now sporting a rich grey patina with the warping slats adding to its rustic air. Riding with such a big group into London is a major logistical and herding exercise—the riders were of a wide variety of skills and the peloton spread out at times to several hundred metres. Luckily we were able to call on the skills of Nick Hanmer, the Chief Executive of Cycle to Cannes (C2C). He and his four motor cycle outriders skillfully brought the riders into The Mall in one bunch, a phenomenal achievement. I was especially pleased because I started C2C nearly ten years ago and Nick has brought great professionalism to its organisation and safety as well as expanding the number of rides the team organises and supports. Riding up The Mall—lined with clapping tourists and union flags—was very special; we rounded Trafalgar Square and pedalled into Waterloo Place where we met up with more riders including Lord Richard Rogers (on a Brompton), Sir Terry Farrell, RIBA President Angela Brady, Rab Bennetts, Robin Nicholson, and Sunand Prasad. Then on up Regent Street to our final destination: Portland Place and the RIBA building! There was an unexpectedly large group of friends and relatives outside the RIBA. Angela Brady opened a couple of bottles of champagne and welcomed us to the Institute. But we weren’t able to hold our final arrival in the RIBA building because it had been hired out for a wedding and a bunch of sweaty cyclists would not have been welcome guests. So we moved on to the New London Architecture Centre (NLA) on Store Street where we were able to party in the newly pedestrianised crescent space. Now we could relax, chat to the riders who joined us for the day as well as discuss our achievements together. We had met up with Angela in Ireland—she joined us when we arrived in Shannon from New York—and proved a wonderful host to the Emerald Isle. Then ex-RIBA President and now Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, met us at the Severn Bridge and rode with us under the Clifton Suspension Bridge and into the city where AHMM put on a party for us in the Architecture Centre. It was a great end to a great adventure. I was particularly pleased that my four children were able to ride in with me—Sophie, William and Alice on bikes, and Rupert, who is making a documentary of the ride,on the back of a motor bike with camera. Everybody asks—how do I feel now that it's over? I feel relief and satisfaction that we got everyone home in one piece and we had no serious accidents; I feel enriched by the places I have seen and the people I’ve met; I feel strong and fit and pleased at my physical performance; and I look forward to using the huge amount of information we have amassed about cycling in cities to promote better cycling conditions generally. Finally I am very grateful for all those that have supported the ride—our main sponsors and the many, many contributors. Once we have done the sums I will let you know the total amount we have raised. What next? I’m cycling in the RideLondon event on August 4—a 100 miles sportif from the Olympic Park to the Surrey Hills and back—so I will be keeping in shape for that—and I will get myself a shave! I need to get back into the swing of things at the NLA where the fantastic staff have been covering for me over the last two and a half months. I am very grateful to them too. We’re holding the NLA London Cycling Summit on July 31, for more details and registration go to www.newlondonarchitecture.org/events
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Cycling into Times Square: An Update from Architects & Urbanists Riding Across the Country

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ] At the beginning of last week we finished the first major leg of the tour - we arrived in New York. After nearly 4,000 miles of riding the group took the Hoboken Ferry to 39th Street, cycled a short way up the West Hudson Greenway and then crosstown into Times Square. The Greenway is one of the best bits of cycling infrastructure in the city and forms part of the Hudson River Park, a series of landscaping and regeneration projects on the site of the old docks and a fantastic new public amenity. The pedestrianisation of Times Square and the cycle route along Broadway are the most visible of the improvements to the public realm engineered over the last decade by the Bloomberg administration, led by the charismatic Department of Transport (DoT) Commissioner Janette Sadik Khan. So popular is the area with pedestrians and tourists that we found it hard to cycle through the crush when we arrived there; but the huge digital screens that cover every building in the Square provided a photogenic backdrop. We were directed by our local film crew to Jimmy’s Corner - a dive bar with a boxing theme which seemed to have the appropriate ambience and we downed a few beers before making our way to our hotel. Everyone seemed in a pensive rather than celebratory mood. The approach to New York through New Jersey had been testing - the cycling conditions some of the worst we had experienced all trip - the temperatures were in the 90s, it had started to rain and the scale of our achievement was taking a bit of time to sink in. The next morning we had an audience with Janette Sadik Khan who when she took over as Commissioner in 2007 set out to ‘green up’ the DoT. This she has done with amazing effect, installing over 300 miles of bike lanes and creating pocket parks and new public spaces where once there were traffic junctions. Even the big bridges of the East Hudson like Brooklyn and Williamsburg have separated cycle paths. Janette recorded a welcome for the P2P riders and signed the baton (made by Christian at A models) which we have carried across the USA and bears the signature of key cycling and transport representatives from each of the major cities we passed through. The toughest riding of the tour was in the Appalachians - although not as high as the Rockies the gradients are steeper (up to 12 per cent). The ridges and valleys sweep up diagonally towards New York and most roads sensibly follow the contours, but in order to stop off in Philadelphia we had to cycle across the grain and climbed ridge after ridge in sweltering heat. In the approaches to the Appalachians lies Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright. The building is a National Historic Landmark and very popular with visitors. One of the benefits of visiting such places in hilly country by bicycle is that the exertion required to get there seems to heighten the senses and increase one’s level of appreciation. We were all much taken with Falling Water - the cantilevered decks, the interiors and the relationship with the landscape, reinforcing our appreciation of Wright following on from our visit to Taliesin East and Johnson Wax. We had planned to have a photo taken outside the Guggenheim the day we arrived in New York but everyone was too tired. My own Wrightian odyssey was completed the next day by going to see the spectacular James Turrell installation there. Turrell’s elliptical forms rising through the space paid the sort of respect to its context that is key to F L-W’s own work, yet is distinct and of its own. I only started to really feel we had properly arrived in New York on Tuesday evening when the New York office of Grimshaw held a party for us. Grimshaw staffers were there in force, Bill Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox was there, as was David Gordon formerly Secretary of the Royal Academy and director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Jonathan Wimpenny Chair of the New york Chapter of the RIBA. We auctioned the spare bike we had used when we had breakdowns and Grimshaw generously purchased it for $2000. Next week we are riding across Ireland, Wales and England and arriving into London from Windsor on Saturday July 13.  Come and ride with us from Windsor - or if that’s too far, meet us in Waterloo Place at mid-day and cycle the last mile up Regent Street to Portland Place and then on for drinks at the NLA at 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT. For details, click Get involved. As we go we are studying the impact of cycling on cities in the US as well as raising money for Article 25, ABS and Architecture for Humanity.
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Grimshaw Architects to Host the P2P Welcome Reception in NYC

p2p_party_01 This past April a team of British bicycle riders embarked on a cross-country trek, pedaling out of Portland, Oregon towards their final destination, Portland Place London. The cyclists, all involved in the architecture, property, and planning industry, embarked on this incredibly long journey, which involves pedaling across the United States and then from Ireland to the UK, to study the way that cities are adapting to people’s growing tendency to choose the bicycle as their primary mode of transportation. On July 2, 2013 Grimshaw Architects, a sponsor of P2P along with The Architect's Newspaper, invites you to the P2P Welcome Reception where they will celebrate with UK architect and journalist Peter Murray and his P2P team in New York City as they conclude the first part of their cycling adventure, the 4,089-mile-long US leg of their bike ride. Their 4,347 mile voyage will be come to an end in July 2013 after they complete the final 258 mile bike ride across the UK and London. The festivities will take place at Grimshaw’s New York office at 637 West 27th Street. 
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Discovering Cities: An Update from Architects & Planners Biking Across the Country

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture Center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. As the P2P team gears up for its triumphant arrival in Manhattan on Sunday (June 30th) having completed the U.S. leg of the trip, Peter Murray looks back at some of the highlights of the last week’s riding. ] One of the delights of cycling across the States has been to experience cities whose names were familiar to me but whose contemporary characteristics and qualities were a void. I am ashamed to admit that when first researching our route through Pittsburgh my main ideas of the city were influenced by scenes of Pennsylvania’s shrinking steel industry from Michael Cimino’s 1978 film The Deerhunter. Instead, I found that Pittsburgh is "the regeneration capital of the U.S.," eds and meds have replaced steel and it has a fast-improving bicycle infrastructure. Much of the credit for this last piece of progress must go to the energy of Scott Bricker and Lou Fineberg who founded Bike Pittsburgh just over a decade ago. The city still has a long way to go but it has bike lanes and riverside trails and it is highly probable that the next Mayor will be the Democrat Bill Peduto, who is a strong supporter of better biking. Of buildings in the city, we much enjoyed H. H. Richardson’s powerful Allegheny Courthouse and Jail with its rough stone masonry and Romanesque detailing. Columbus, Ohio was another city I knew little about and often confused for Columbus, Indiana. We managed to find Peter Eisenman’s seminal decon Wexner Centre with its crashing grids, iconic plan, and instantly recognizable "chess piece" turrets. Passing Eisenman’s new convention center in the city, one gets the impression that he is more comfortable working at the smaller scale of the art gallery rather than the multiblock behemoth of the convention center. I left the ride for a few days to fulfill a speaking engagement in London and planned to rejoin the cyclists in Cincinnati and flew to Indianapolis confident that I could take the train to Cincinnati. However it turned out that they only run three times a week! The consequences of—to a European eye—the States' appalling underinvestment in rail transport can be seen in the striking Cincinnati Union Terminal. A giant juke box of a building designed by Alfred Fellheimer and completed in 1933. It has largely been taken over, perhaps appropriately, by an exhibition about dinosaurs, with one small side platform allocated to the trains. Zaha Hadid’s Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati is (for her) a restrained building which sits happily in the city block, although internally rather too much has been squeezed into too small a space. Michael Graves’s Engineering Center over at the University of Cincinnati was very grand, and I was surprised to hear later that Bernard Tschumi had designed one of the sports building which I had passed by without realising it had such a pedigree. We cycled round the Over-the-Rhine district, scene of the 2001 riots and now an area of major regeneration which reminded us of similar areas in London like Shoreditch and Spitalfields. Indianapolis has also gone through major regeneration in recent years, it has a vibrant downtown area, new convention center and the massive Lucas Oil Stadium designed by HKS with a brick facade that dominates the city. The architects used bricks to relate to the historic core but there was little they could do about the size of the building. The piece of design that most attracted us as cyclists was the the landscaping and bicycle paths. These have been designed to reflect their relationship with the city rather than selected from the stabdard traffic engineer’s catalogue. I struggle in each of these cities with the number of car parking sites which leave huge gaps in the urban fabric and destroy any feeling of place. In Cincinnati this has been ameliorated by a program of murals on blank walls, but maybe as more people take to bicycles and demand for car parking space reductions they will be developed to form a coherent part of the city.
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Minneapolis, Cycling City: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ] We liked Minneapolis—it ended our sojourn in the wilderness of South Dakota, we saw some nice things, met a lot of cool people and the biking there is great! On our journey plan we had highlighted the fact that the city was host to a bevy of starchitects—Herzog and de Meuron with the 2005 Walker Art Gallery extension, Jean Nouvel with the Guthrie Theater of 2006, and Frank Gehry at the Weisman Museum which opened in 2011. H&deM’s gallery is their signature decorated rhomboidal shed with aluminum-mesh cladding panels stamped with a pattern of creases, while Nouvel’s is definitely a duck, its cylindrical forms reflecting the concrete silos on adjoining sites and its industrial detailing referencing the mills that once lined the Mississippi River at this point and created the wealth of the 19th century city. A gymnastic cantilever projecting out over the river provides spectacular views to St. Anthony Falls. As he did in London at One New Change and Reina Sofia in Madrid, Nouvel has delivered a popular new public space that enhances the visitor’s experience of the city. However, our local guides were keener to point out the picturesque ruins of the largest flour mill in the world, destroyed by a flour dust explosion and into which local architects Meyer Scherer and Rockcastle have sensitively inserted a contemporary office building. But the highlight of our tour was the Christ Church Lutheran designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1948 with an extension by Eero twenty or so years later. The interior is beautifully crafted in brick with a simple curved screen at the altar end flooded with south light. We had come to Minneapolis to study its cycling infrastructure—and we were impressed. Our group of 13 riders pedalled along the Midtown Greenway, a traffic-free cycle route which runs on a defunct railway line right through the heart of the city, then on to bicycle boulevards—lower-volume, slow speed streets with safe crossings which felt very comfortable to ride in. Bike lanes in the city are comprehensive in the central area and we found it easy to get around. Last year Bicycling Magazine named Minneapolis America’s “No 1 Bike City,” beating Portland, Oregon, despite the fact that the city experiences ferocious winters and riders have to fit studded tires in icy periods. Nearly four percent of Minneapolis residents bike to work according to Census data—an increase of 33 percent since 2007, and 500 percent since 1980. Two particularly interesting points, emerged from our conversations—that, like the High Line, the Midtown Greenway is a major generator of new residential development, and, like New York, most of the cycling infrastructure had been put in within the last decade—much quicker than most European cycling cities. These are just two lessons among the many we will be taking back to London to promote more and better cycling infrastructure in the UK capital.
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Cycling Across America: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Cycling Across the Country

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ] Reaching Mount Rushmoor was a significant—indeed iconic—moment of the trip, our sense of arrival heightened by the steep and long hill that takes the visitor up to the Avenue of Flags and the rather pompous facilities that are in stark contrast to the desolate scenes one remembers from Hitchcock's North by North West. We had started the day from Deadwood, scene of America's last great gold rush and Wild Bill Hickock's demise. He was gunned down while holding a poker hand of aces and eights (the Dead Man's Hand). Appropriately, the town has been reinvented as a gambling town, Main Street is all casinos and our hotel lobby was full of slot machines where people sat all day, staring at screens amidst a cacophony of jingles that erupted every time a player pushed a button or won a prize. But for us the most memorable aspect of Deadwood was the rain. It poured solidly for 48 hours, it poured as we rode into town, it poured on our day off, and it poured as we left. The pine-covered Black Hills are very beautiful although cycling through them was made less enjoyable by South Dakota road department's use of rumble strips. In previous states the rumble strip, about a foot wide, runs parallel to the road just outside of the "fog line," generally leaving plenty of room on the hard shoulder for the cyclist. South Dakota places their rumble strips at 90 degrees to the road every 15 feet or so, which means you either have to weave in and out—often dangerously close to the carriage way—or ride over the strips which feels like you're taking part in the Paris-Roubaix race over cobbles. Coming out of the Black Hills we dropped down closer to the plains—through the bare Badlands with its lunar-like landscape and onto wide and open grass lands. Riding from Interior to Murdo, we encountered 24mph south easterly winds—70 miles of hard grind! Riders formed tight pelotons to reduce the drag, but we were all exhausted by the end of the day. We had our reward the next day when we turned north to Pierre, capital of South Dakota, and we were blown into town at 35-40mph. As we go we are studying the impact of cycling on cities in the US as well as raising money for Article 25, ABS and Architecture for Humanity.
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Squandered Land: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ] When the author Bill Bryson moved back to the US from England he wrote a goodbye book entitled Notes from a Small Island. I was frequently reminded of Bryson’s analysis as I rode through Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. By comparison to these great open spaces England is neat and manicured, with everything in its place. These huge states are shockingly profligate with their land—your barn falling down? let it, and build another next door; getting a new truck? leave the old one to rust in the field. Large areas of this beautiful countryside are disfigured by rotting trailers, wheel-less automobiles and discarded junk. Cities stretch out for miles and miles with low rise sheds and malls and scrub—Helena, capital of Montana, was probably the worst example we came across.When I get home I shall never again criticize the UK’s Green Belt policy; this key part of our planning system stops any development in a ring around the edge of major cities thus effectively restricting endless urban sprawl. To be fair to Helena they have done a pretty good job of improving their city center. Traces of the huge wealth created by the prolific output of gold from Last Chance Gulch can be seen in the heavy stone buildings of the CBD, St. Helena Cathedral, based on Cologne’s Domkirche, and the imposing State Capitol by Frank Mills Andrews. There is an open greensward outside the cathedral and Last Chance Gulch itself—now the main street—has been partially pedestrianized with spaces to sit out and for live performances. The landscapes we have cycled through have been awesome, but it is hard to say the same about the buildings. I yearn to see an elegantly detailed residence, a modern barn that has the charm of those that are now disintegrating. I long for a building positioned in the landscape with the elegance of composition of a Tuscan estate. So many buildings look like they have come out of a catalogue and just plonked anywhere. We’re a bunch of architects cycling through beautiful places, meeting friendly, welcoming people, served outsize meals, but we’re starved of ARCHITECTURE! I guess it is because there is so much space out here that development in such exquisite surroundings is taken so lightly. A map of the whole of Britain is just 1:10,000; the map I used to trace our route across the US is 1:3,800,000! That says it all really. When you’re a small island you care for every bit of it, sometimes too much, so that development is thwarted by conservation; but when you’ve got a lot of something, it’s easy to squander it.
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Main Street USA: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

psp_update_01 [ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ] Cycling through the small towns of Idaho and Montana provides useful lessons for the English visitor about the growth of settlements in the US and allows interesting comparisons with the development of urban structure in Britain. While we in the UK have high streets, they are a very different sort of place to main streets. English settlements often developed around market squares, their structure defined by the relationship between the church and the ‘big house’ occupied by the feudal landlord as well as topographical features and land ownership. The main streets of places we have cycled through in the last couple of weeks clearly grew up initially to service the needs of the traveller and retained their preeminence in the urban fabric because of the ubiquitous grid plan—a form promoted by Penn because he beleived it would prevent the outbreaks of fire and disease that bedevilled European cities in the 16th and 17th centuries. So as we followed the Lewis and Clark trail we came to towns like Kamiah, once the winter home of the Native-American tribe Nez Perce and now a tourist center with a main street remodelled along Western/Victorian theme. The wide main street is the heart of the place lined with two-story buildings with cut-out profiles that, to the tourist look as though they should be fronted with a board walk and somewhere to hitch your horse. We visited Bozeman, Montana. A look at the map confirms Main Street’s preeminence among city’s streets. We had been told of Bozeman’s hippy/liberal tendencies, largely on the basis that it is a university town. However the impression from Main Street was that this was a well-to-do town with its buildings in good repair, its shops and restaurants prosperous and an almost European intensity of street use with cyclists, pedestrians and cafe tables on the sidewalk. One American architect in the party—now working in London—described the look of Bozeman as "art directed" with its neat brickwork, refurbished buildings and tasteful color palette. The following day we cycled up Main Street in Reed Point—the home of the Great Montana Sheep Drive, past a tumble down bar that boasted "Indians and mountain men welcome here" and were accosted by a local who believed all cyclists to be dangerous lefties. Being British was even worse: “Why don’t you commies go to Iraq or Iran instead of coming here?” When it was suggested that the United Kingdom was not a communist state, the riposte was “No guns - no freedom!” Nothing of the sort, of course, happened when we went through Missoula. Described by the locals as a "spot of blue in a sea of red," it certainly had more of a hippy feel to it than Bozeman, less art directed, with buskers on the streets and offers of grass outside bars in the evening. Most importantly for us it is the headquarters of the Adventure Cycling Association who provide excellent information for long distance riders, particularly those going across the continent. The cycling provision in the center of town was fair enough, with bike lanes and a path along the Clark Fork River. However, in the outer areas the infrastructure for cyclists was non-existent with some of the most dangerous conditions we have yet encountered.
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A Global Bicycle Trek from Portland, Oregon to London’s Portland Place.

Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect's Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. Portland is to America what Copenhagen is to Europe: everyone looks to it as an exemplar cycling city, and it has been continually improving its cycling infrastructure for more than 40 years - the first Bicycle Masterplan was published in 1973. As a result, 6 per cent of Portland commuters now bike to work and the Active Transport Alliance’s annual Bike Commute Challenge attracts over 700 participant companies. Cycling is undoubtably a part of Portland’s culture with its Neighbourhood Greenways, bicycle boulevards, routes across key bridges, safe routes to school and the Eastbank Esplanade - a wide path shared with walkers and joggers overlooking the Willamette river. The city was awarded platinum status by the League of American Bicyclists and acclaimed by Bicycling magazine as number one for cycle-friendliness. Portland to Portland It was this reputation that drew us to start our mammoth ride in Portland. In the few days we were in the city preparing for our departure we were able to test out the quality of infrastructure and can report that cycling in Portland feels comfortable, enjoyable and safe, certainly in comparison to London. Although to a bunch of Brits it was not so much the infrastructure that made one feel safe, but the courtesy and calmness of Portland’s car drivers, all who could teach the London cabbie a thing or two about the etiquette of the road. As far as contemporary architecture goes, the city is only known on the other side of the Atlantic as the home of Michael Graves’s Portland Building. It is a building that is so familiar through a millionarchitectural photographs and Jencksian primers that one could draw it without reference, yet the promulgated images totally ignore the building’s context in the city street. Today it sits there comfortably enough, the exterior has worn better than many other POMO icons (although the interiors are low ceilinged and less generous than expected) and one has to rake through the cultural embers of the early 80s to remember what all the fuss was about. While we were in Portland, livable streets activist Mark Gorton rode into to town for a lecture. He’s spreading the message from New York to main streets across the US that it’s time to tame the automobile. Gorton seeks nothing less than an American Streets Renaissance. We were surprised, in the discussion after Gorton’s talk, that locals were concerned that Portland’s own plans for better streets were running out of steam. “Probably the worst thing that could have happened was the Platinum Award from the League of Bicyclists” said Chris DiStefano head of bike outfitters Rapha. “The politicians are now resting on their laurels but there is still a lot to be done.” And other cities are catching up. The next big city we get to on our trans America ride is Minneapolis, whose politicians are eager to knock Portland off its top spot. It’ll take us a month to get there - but we look forward to sampling the Twin Cities’s cycling infrastructure to see just how big a threat they are.
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Join Architects and Urbanists On A Bike Ride From Coast to Coast

The English architectural editor, author, and founder of the London Festival of Architecture, Peter Murray, is also a devoted urban bicycle activist. Murray always arrives at events in London with a bicycle helmut under his arm because it's the only way he moves around the city. He believe's that "cyclised cities are civilised cities" and has organized group rides around Britain and Europe to publicize the need for cities to become more bicycle friendly. To demonstrate that commitment and to promote cycling, Murray and a group of peers are taking a 4,347 mile ride. But starting on April 27th, Murray will lead a group of 15 architects, designers, and urbanists (including for a time Richard Rogers; Norman Foster—as his diary permits—and, in New York, Bill Pedersen) on a bicycle trip from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and then to Portland Place in London—home to RIBA. They plan to link up with the architectural community en route and learn from what American cities are doing—or not doing—to accommodate cyclists. They will present their findings at the Center for Architecture in New York on July 1 and on August 2 at the London Cycling Summit. The group is encouraging people to join them for parts or their ride and their website lists where they will be on a daily basis. The Architect's Newspaper will be a media sponsor for the trip and we'll be posting regular dispatches from the group as they pedal across the country from West to East and newspaper staff will join them from Princeton, New Jersey to New York City.