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Adventures in journalism

Posted by on October 19th, 2006 at 4:27 pm

Dan Kaufman
[Filmmaker Dan Kaufman
of CrankMyChain TV]

This morning I huddled among a big crowd in the wind and rain as Portland officially dedicated the Three Bridges on the Springwater Corridor Trail (photos and a report coming later).

The event, which started in Sellwood, was an opportunity to interview some of Portland’s key transportation visionaries and leaders. To this end, I met up with Dan Kaufman, fledgling flimmaker behind CrankMyChain Bicycle TV. Dan is working with PDOT on a short film about Portland transportation that will be one of many shown at the big film event next weekend (10/28).

When I told Dan that U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Metro Councilor (and founder of the BTA) Rex Burkholder would be at this event, he jumped at the chance to get interviews with them. Dan asked me to do the on-camera interviewing and after a bit of hesitation, I obliged.

I’ve never done an on-camera interview before and I have to say it was really cool. I talked with Rex about the big visions and partnerships it took to make the bridges project happen, and about how Metro will work to close more gaps in the Springwater (they’re working on it!).

Then, as we walked the new trail, I found myself next to Congressman Blumenauer. I looked up and sure enough there was Dan, at the ready with the camera and the mic. Seizing an opportunity, I (re)introduced myself to Earl and started in on an interview. It was an inspiring conversation and he spoke candidly about how bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is on the rise in America and how much further our transportation dollars go when we invest in things other than high-speed freeways for motor vehicles.

After the three bridges event, Dan and I rode over to the Pearl District to interview Robert Ball of Pearl Real Estate. We wanted to get Robert’s perspective on how transportation can play a role in the development of a city. Robert has been involved in real estate development in Portland since the early ’90s (he wisely made his first apartment block purchase on NW 23rd Street) and is now a well known and respected figure in the success of the Pearl District.

Robert spoke about how serious he is about integrating development into the existing and future transportation network. It’s clear to me that he and his colleagues are dedicated to creating housing and commercial spaces that work in tandem with transportation, and how important that is to the livability of our city.

It sure was an interesting day…one of many interesting days I’ve had since starting this website.

From clowns to congressmen to real estate developers, it’s all about perspective. The more we walk in someone else’s shoes, the more effective we can be as advocates…and journalists.

Don’t miss these interviews and much more at A Celebration of Portland Transportation, a free film festival at the Bagdad Theater next Saturday (10/28) from 2-4pm.

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Comments
  • Flowers UK October 21, 2006 at 10:19 am

    It is a great step, for health, nature, curing global warming and making movement. We need to motivate people to use more bicycles and do more walking to preserve our nature, get rid of pollution and save money and time. If people just realize how much money they waste on cars and transportation, they can make a difference.

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