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Despite Cold, Portland’s New Mayor Biked to Work on First Day

11:16 AM EST on January 4, 2017

Starting the day off with a bike ride will put a smile on your face, even in 25 degree weather.

Starting the day off with a bike ride will put a smile on your face, even in 25 degree weather. Photo: Ted Wheeler via Twitter

People's perspective on city streets is shaped by how they get around. So it's very encouraging, writes Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland, that new mayor Ted Wheeler biked to work on his first day in office.

The best part, says Maus, is that Wheeler's bike commute wasn't a photo op:

Wheeler revealed on Twitter today (after being asked about it) that he rode his bike to work for his first day on the job. “This is Portland!” you might say, “That’s no big deal!” But consider this: When Wheeler left his home in the West Hills the mercury rose to only about 25 degrees. And there was a serious wind chill. And it was dark.

When we asked him how it went he said, “Cold, but the roads were dry and the stars were out.”

Riding a bike in an urban environment on a regular basis isn’t a pre-requisite for success as the leader of a major city; but it is certainly important. Given that nearly all policymakers have an automobile-centric perspective, it’s imperative that a non-driving worldview has a chance to work its way into our planning, policies, and priorities.

What we're also reading today: Greater Greater Washington makes the case for "density" as a quality for cities to strive for. Streets.mn says Minneapolis needs a better approach to keep sidewalks safe and clearing after snow emergencies. And The Urban Edge highlights a new report that recommends a steady base of state support for Atlanta's transit system.

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