Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States. Portland is Oregon's most populous city, and the third most populous city in the Pacific Northwest, after Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Approximately 2,260,000 people live in the Portland metropolitan area,the 23rd most populous in the United States.
Portland was incorporated in 1851 and is the county seat of Multnomah County. The city extends west into the Cedar Mill neighborhood in Washington County and south towards Lake Oswego in Clackamas County. With a commission-based government headed by a mayor and four other commissioners, the city and region are noted for strong land-use planning and investment in light rail, supported by Metro, a distinctive regional government. Because of its public transportation networks and efficient land use planning, Portland has been referred to as one of the most environmentally friendly, or "green", cities in the world.
The Portland metropolitan area has transportation services common to major U.S. cities, though Oregon's emphasis on proactive land-use planning and transit-oriented development within the urban growth boundary means that commuters have multiple well-developed options. A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Portland 12th most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities. Some Portlanders use mass transit for their daily commute. In 2008, 12.6% of all commutes in Portland were on public transit. TriMet operates most of the region's buses and the MAX (short for Metropolitan Area Express) light rail system, which connects the city and suburbs. Westside Express Service, or WES, opened in February 2009 as commuter rail for Portland's western suburbs, linking Beaverton and Wilsonville. The Portland Streetcar operates from the south waterfront, through Portland State University and north to nearby homes and shopping districts. The Streetcar line will add 3.3 miles of tracks on the east side of the Willamette River in the fall of 2012. The line will complete a loop to the tracks on the west side of the river once the new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge is completed in 2013. Within the Free Rail Zone, a designated geographic area centered in downtown, rides on TriMet's MAX and streetcar systems are free. Fifth and Sixth avenues within downtown comprise the Portland Transit Mall, two streets devoted primarily to bus and light rail traffic with limited automobile access. Intense public transit development continues as two light rail lines are under construction, as well as a new downtown transit mall linking several transit options. TriMet also provides real-time tracking of buses and trains with its TransitTracker and even makes the data available to software developers so they can create customized tools of their own.
"I'll tell you Portland, Oregon is one of the greenest cities in the United States. When travel to Portland I noticed so many electric-hybrid vehicles. When I went to stop and fill up with gasoline; I noticed there were several charging stations for electric vehicles. That is the way to go; as long as you can keep your vehicle charge you won't need that high priced gasoline. It seems more and more hybrid; and electric vehicles are becoming more efficient and cheaper to buy. I've been driving my V8 truck now for 5 years and if it weren't for hauling my head of cattle; I'd purchase me one of those electric cars." John W. - Portland, Oregon
"Portland, Oregon is a great city for the common car enthusiast. There are so many car clubs around that everyone can get involved. It seems like the crowd here welcomes any make of vehicle; which tells me anyone with a car can enjoy great fun and socialization. I've owned several classic cars from the Camaro to the Corvette; and I have to say everyone I meet that is involved in a car club has welcomed me with open arms." Charlie S - Lake Oswego, Oregon
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