Our January podcast: Can Portland stay creative without its top bike believer?

outgoing PBOT Director Tom MillerA week from Monday, the lawyer and former skateboard activist who became the most influential and controversial PDX transportation visionary you’ve never heard of will be gone from city government.

After six years as chief of staff to former Mayor Sam Adams and 20 months as Adams’ appointee to run the city’s transportation bureau, Tom Miller built a behind-the-scenes reputation for his floppy hair, sharp elbows, rapid political rise and powerful faith that bikes could help a city like Portland grow up gracefully.

New Mayor Charlie Hales fired Miller this month, one of his first actions in office, citing "major issues in the bureau."

For Portland Afoot’s latest commuting podcast, Lily and I invited Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org to join us and talk about the effect Miller’s departure will have on the city and on biking – and Jonathan’s prediction of what’s next for Miller.

We also dissect The Oregonian’s shocking report on driver exhaustion at TriMet and Zipcar’s sudden acquisition by Avis. Can an old-school car rental company make carsharing mainstream? (The conversation about Miller, for its part, starts at the 15-minute mark.) And as always, we share:

  • a low-car commuting tip of the month.
  • our favorite TriMet-related Twitter chatter
  • a great story that could only happen on the bus
  • Lily’s uncanny ear for transportation music

Follow the monthly podcast here. If you don’t use iTunes, you can download the full audio file here, subscribe to our monthly commuting podcast by RSS here, or even get an email notification each time we upload a new one.

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