The Green Loop is more than a 6-mile linear trail through the central city, it also provides connections to the greater bike network. As Friends of Green Loop began working on the Healthy Businesses program, we began having discussions about how this connectivity could be utilized.
One of the issues facing retailers, especially in the downtown area, was how to re-think consumer behavior with COVID safety considerations in mind. Online ordering and local delivery was an obvious option, but how could this be employed in a way that was hyper-local, did not increase carbon emissions and was innovative.
Another issue business owners faced was excess space with the reduced need in occupancy needed for customers. A few businesses began to look at sub-leasing their extra space.
Friends of Green Loop suggested developing a hyper-local bike-based delivery system that leverages local bike couriers and used excess retail space as “distribution centers” to sort deliveries. The Green Loop could act a a beltway to move goods and services from downtown businesses to large distribution centers in the Central Eastside.
We took the Green Loop map and overlaid existing Greenways, bike lanes and the new Safe Streets/Slow Streets. A connective network emerged. Next we overlaid Healthy Business permit locations and many of them lined up with a greenway or bike lane.
Friends of Green Loop is exploring opportunities to develop this concept. We have started to speak with bike courier services, potential distribution center space providers and community leaders. In addition, Friends of Green Loop has joined the City of Portland’s 2040 Freight Plan Community Advisory Committee to learn more about needs, goals and policy. We are interested in convening/connecting interesting parties and potential stakeholders.
If you are interested in this concept and would like to help or participate, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also help to support this work by making a donation to our organization.