Portland – OR – can you leave your car behind ?

ser·en·dip·i·ty

A little article in the NYT today… about Portland’s new TRAM system which just opened for use this past weekend. While I didn’t get a chance to see it first hand, I have been completely encouraged by my other public transit experiences in the city, beginning with a quick ride into downtown by the light rail “MAX” followed by a couple of very straight forward bus rides… Easy, Clean, Safe… Timely and simply just “the right thing to do”.

Now public transit may not be a big thing to those of you already living the “big city life” but from my perspective (a Midwestern “city” where a car is absolutely essential) the opportunity to really not have to use a car in a city the size of PDX (metro area approaching 2 million according to the NYT article) is completely amazing…

This isn’t to say that public transit couldn’t also be relevant in a smaller Midwest city – It’s just become completely apparent to me it has to also be about a mindset, a way of thinking about quality of life, understanding how individuals decisions impact the collective well being and experience of a community… This is what so exciting to begin to understand about Portland…

I can’t wait to start to explore.

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