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OHSU Tram: A valuable link in Portland's Bike Network

I have been involved in many discussions held in many forums about the Portland OHSU Aerial Tram. Now, all controversy aside - one common opinion that I hear frequently concerns me. Often, the Tram will be disregarded as a valuable link in Portland's bike network.
To all who would say that the Tram does not provide a valuable connection or link for bicyclists, I would suggest heading down to the base of the Tram and look around. I did.

One noteworthy fact is that these pictures were all taken on February 4, 2009. Now it was a nice day - but the morning around 7:30am when I headed out of my house it was 36° (F). According to WeatherUnderground the low was 27° (F) and the high was 58° (F). And it was dry. Now that by no means is a terrible day. But it is still quite chilly riding in the morning, and it is still the time of year when we are short on daylight - so often both ends of the commute are in darkness. So my point is that while it was nice weather for Feb. - it was by no means a warm and moderate summer day - when we would surely expect to see bicycle crowds.
I counted 185 bicycles at the base of the Tram. On those nice moderate summer days I mentioned - there are bikes locked to every immovable object. All of the bike racks I pictured will be overflowing, the several bike cages in the parking garage (not pictured) will be packed full, and even the crappy "hang your bike on the back of this strange wall" bike racks just east of the base will be full up too. And then of course there are the people who took their bikes with them on the tram itself. When I rode the tram up - at noon - there were two bikes in the tram car with me. And at the top, immediately outside of the tram there was 5 more bikes locked. I have no way of counting how many bikes rode up the tram and rode away, or were tucked somewhere inside OHSU, the VA or Doernbecher.

Say what you may about the Tram - but if you say it is not a valuable link to Portland's bike network, you will be wrong.

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