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Bike-conscious Portlanders needed at transportation funding town hall meetings

Posted by on June 20th, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Like I mentioned last week, Commissioner of Transportation Sam Adams is embarking on major quest to fix Portland’s ailing transportation system.

A key part of his plan is a series of neighborhood town hall meetings being held to allow you to “join the conversation about transportation funding…and be part of the solution”.

Adams is about to decide on new local transportation funding options (mostly to pay for a maintenance backlog) and he needs to hear what the community priorities are.

With talks of a possible new tax, Adams’ initiative is drawing out every anti-bike person in the Portland Metro area. That’s why it’s imperative that bicycle-conscious people show up to these meetings and bring some balance to the discussion.

If you don’t believe me, here’s what a reader has to say about the meeting in southeast Portland tonight:

“I was surprised and dismayed to note that the turnout included perhaps 8 or 10 cyclists, ourselves included. Given the presence of some very vocal folks who clearly are trying to further their anti-bike agenda (nspecific hostility toward bikes, as evidenced in the comments on Sam Adams’ blog), cyclists need to turn out in much larger numbers.

Currently the focus is almost purely aimed on cars and how to make Portland a better place for drivers. This is disappointing and disturbing and needs more attention from the cycling community.”

It’s unfortunate the first two have come (and gone) during Pedalpalooza, but there are still three meetings left (starting on 6/26).

Here are the details (please spread the word and try to attend):

    North & Northeast Portland
    Tuesday, June 26, 7-9pm
    King Neighborhood Facility
    4815 NE 7th Avenue

    Northwest Portland
    Wednesday, June 27, 7-9pm
    Friendly House Conference Room
    1737 NW 26th Avenue

    Central Northeast & East Portland
    Monday, July 2, 7-9pm
    Firehouse #12
    4415 NE 87th Avenue

If you cannot attend on of these neighborhood town halls in person, you can log on to the Commissioner’s Blog to participate in the online conversation (and yes, he and his staffers read the comments). For directions or special accommodations call (503) 823-1394.

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Comments
  • N.I.K. June 20, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    The anti-bike arguments cropping up on the Adams\’ blog are the same old tired uninformed and easily dismissed arguments:

    -\”cyclists/bike lanes are creating more congestion\” (ridiculous! we take up *less* space than the car we each otherwise might be driving!)

    -\”cyclists don\’t contribute money towards the upkeep of roads\”
    (ridiculous! we pay income taxes and part of that goes towards fixing the roads that our bikes aren\’t chunking to pieces)

    -\”cyclists are hell-raising vandals busting up side mirrors and littering!\”
    (uh…I\’m throwing Coke cans and burger wrappers out of my non-existent window?)

    and so on. It\’s not going to take much to refute this uninformed demonization of cyclists. Who\’s showing up where? I can commit to the N/NE meeting on Tuesday w/out too much trouble…I live close enough where I have no excuse! :) Let\’s get a good 25 at least. Meet you folks out front?

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  • N.I.K. June 21, 2007 at 12:03 am

    It\’s probably also worth noting that creating and running a licensing/registration program for bicycles would likely cost much more money than the revenue it would bring in, and would require the time and attention of city employees who would likely be better off dealing with more pressing matters.

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  • Todd June 21, 2007 at 8:54 am

    See everyone at the N/NE meeting.

    Todd

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  • Craig June 21, 2007 at 10:16 am

    here are some very rough calculations that I thought were funny and I am bored at work.
    Explanation of bike to auto weight ratio:
    approximate weight of my bike, 25 lbs and approximate weight of a car, 3000 lbs
    25/3000 = .0083

    or

    Explanation of bike to auto tire to road ratio:

    approximate width of 2 bike tires, 2 tires * 1 inch(each) = 2 inches and
    approximate avg width of 4 car tires, 4 * 6 inches(each) = 24 inches
    2/24 = .0083

    interesting….

    I would gladly pay .0083 * $55(car registration fee for 2 years) = $.46 for two years to register my bike.

    that should satisfy them \’register the bike\’ types!!

    besides….anyone see any pot holes in the bike lanes??

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  • Richard S June 21, 2007 at 10:32 am

    I attended the SW meeting on Tuesday. Unlike the SE meeting described above, we had a good turnout of bike minded folks. There were one or two quite vocal anti bike folks there, but they made themselves sound quite unreasonable. The bike supporters kept a rational and measured demeanor.

    On a related note, I am a member of one of the local neighborhood associations (SWHRL). We had done a transportation study last year in our neighborhood, and identified areas for improvement. It was pretty clear that residents were looking for major improvements in the pedestrian, public transport and bicycling infrastructures. They were fairly satisfied with the driving infrastructure. Note that pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements mostly mean road improvements – just not for drivers.

    Anyway, I gave Sam a copy of the report, and we had a chat about the results.

    I thought that as far as townhall meetings go, this was a very productive one

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  • bicycledave June 21, 2007 at 11:39 am

    I put a comment over there in favor of more funding for bikes, buses and pedestrians. I would encourage everyone here to put their own comment there.

    It\’s a real wakeup call reading some of the anti-bike/anti-tax comments over there. It\’s hard to imagine ever getting through to some of those people, but you\’ve got to keep in mind that for every anti-tax nut job posting there are tens or hundreds of reasonable people reading the posts. Many of those readers have the ear of the people with the power to make the decisions.

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  • N.I.K. June 21, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    bicycledave, what\’s simultaneously disturbing and amusing to me is to consider the simple fact that these handful of vehemently anti-bike and anti-transit people are just scapegoating the people who aren\’t damaging the road, claiming \”they get all this for free and don\’t pay for it!\”. Well, actually, we *do* pay for it, and we don\’t break what we\’re paying for. It\’s only fair we pay less. One person even goes so far as to lambast the neighbor with the more fuel-efficient vehicle down the street as self-righteous. Okay, maybe that family is comprised of a bunch of jerk-asses, but it\’s pretty foolish to make that judgment based solely on their choice in transport -it\’d be like making the mistake of assuming *everybody* on a bike is doing it because they give two squirts about the environment, and neglecting to the practical \”it\’s cheaper transport in the long-run\” or \”it\’s fun\” angles entirely. I\’d chalk it up to a classic case of \”I know what I\’m doing is damaging, but like hell if I\’m going to pay for what I\’ve done.\”

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  • bicycledave June 21, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    N.I.K., was that the same guy complaining about his $9000 property taxes in Ladd\’s Enhanced Enforcement Addition? You\’d think someone who could afford a big enough house to incur $9000 in property taxes could afford to pay a few cents per gallon for better roads.

    I was so tempted to use a little sarcasm and suggest as a bicyclist I\’d be happy to pay a ten cents per gallon tax on compressed air, but I figure a reasonable response is more influential.

    And you\’re right we do pay for it and some of us pay for it with our lives.

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  • N.I.K. June 21, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Indeed it is the same fellow, bicycledave. He\’s also the same guy who has the time to complain about how his concerns would be ignored at a public meeting surrounding these issues and thus refuses to show up, but at the same time thinks he still has a right to complain about his tax dollars being diverted to fund transportation efforts he doesn\’t use. Neat, huh?

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