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The Monday Roundup: Bronzeville biking, mandatory reflection & more

Posted by on January 20th, 2014 at 10:53 am

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Nice ride.
(Photo by Steven Vance.)

Posting will be lighter than usual today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Here are the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Bronzeville biking: One of the most historically important African-American communities in the country is the test bed for a new multimodal advocacy program. Bronzeville, on Chicago’s inner South Side, already has two protected bike lanes and 15 bike share stations; now the city that was once home to Dr. King’s “Northern Crusade” is testing a program, designed by Portland’s Alta Planning, to make biking work better for Bronzeville residents.

Mandatory reflection: A well-to-do suburb of Milwaukee will now require every person walking along a street at night to wear reflective clothing or face a citation. They previously required it for people on bikes.

Vision Zero: New York safe-streets advocates are ecstatic, and the city’s media enthusiastic, about new NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order for a plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries in the city by 2024.

Road diet riots: Think “bikelash” is bad in the States? Burgos, Spain, has been “hit by five days of demonstrations and riots” touched off by an €8 million traffic calming project that also replaced free auto parking with paid.

“Drive safe”: Here’s a provocative print ad about the deadly objects most of us use constantly.

Reeves recalled: Longtime Hawthorne Bridge performer Working Kirk Reeves, who fatally shot himself in 2012, got more far nominations than anyone else (840) when TriMet asked the public for suggestions about who or what to name its new bridge after.

Forget commuting: Bike commuting is great, but Americans focus on it too much, argues Walker Angell. Even most Dutch don’t bike 10 miles to work; shorter trips are where the real potential is.

Walkable, bikeable LA: Shake your stereotypes of Los Angeles. Much of it was built in the 20s, when human-oriented urbanism was at its peak; its infamous highway system was actually an awkward retrofit. That’s why 20 percent of trips in L.A. County are made by foot or bike.

Odd crash: A 22-year-old Irishman’s mountain bike crash made the medical journals because it left him with a seven-week-long erection.

Fast-tracking bike projects: Obama-era reforms to the federal transportation department seem to finally be falling into place. The latest is an exemption for projects entirely within existing right-of-way or with less than $5 million in federal funding from being tied up in environmental review — a tactic sometimes used by people who claim that bike lanes increase congestion.

Kickstarting bikesharing: “The country’s only advocate-owned bike share system,” in Kansas City, Mo., just launched a campaign to crowdfund 10 zones of bike share kiosks over the web. Key prizes: two-for-one memberships in the system, at $65 each.

Bike thieves: A pair of bike thieves were caught on camera stealing a custom bike from outside the Central Eastside Lofts at NE Sixth and Davis. Police are looking for information.

Missing sidewalks: “Laurie Sitton uses Powell Boulevard every day. She uses the bike lanes in absence of a sidewalk. But she’s not on a bike. She’s in a wheelchair.

State transpo shakeup: One of the most influential backers behind the Columbia River Crossing is up and moving to Las Vegas.


Smart-car wishlist: The auto lobby is pushing for its priorities to be included in internet-connected cars. Can we get some of our folks on this one too?

Doctors and traffic safety: Streetsblog DC interviews a medical historian about the role doctors have played in pushing for more physical safety on U.S. streets.

Bikes vs. orchards: As Washington state considers following Oregon’s lead to designate some rural roads as scenic bikeways, it’s getting pushback from fruit growers east of the Cascades.

Federal transpo bill: House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) wants a new federal transportation bill by August.

“Density works”: 75 percent population growth; 26 percent job growth; 20 percent fewer cars entering downtown. The city is Vancouver, BC, and the way they did it was letting developers build lots of tall skinny towers that make it easier to live near their destinations, argues Dan Bertolet.

Faster passenger rail: People planning the very-long-term future of high-speed rail in Oregon have settled on using Amtrak’s current corridor to get through the Portland area. South of Oregon City, they’re down to two possible routes. Portland Transport has a great analysis of the winners and losers.

The end of “bike culture”: Writer Elly Blue predicts that biking in U.S. cities will be “kind of a boring thing in the next five years, actually. And that would be a good thing.”

The importance of bike culture: “It wasn’t bland marketing campaigns that got more people riding,” writes Hart Noecker in a rebuttal of sorts. “The strength of our movement lies in its diversity, not its normality.”

Decentralized bike sharing: Lansing, Mich., is the latest smaller city to try out a low-cost, low-visibility floating fleet bike sharing system using web-connected bikes.

Fatsuit biking: A London man and/or his son had an interesting idea for how to convince people in cars to give people on bikes more space when passing: make a video of him riding a folding bike in a fat suit.

Long-term bike parking: San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency has a new study of long-term bike parking policy that includes an overview of public bike parking facilities in 13 U.S. cities.

Singing bike: Finally, your video of the week is the teaser for a remarkable project: a 3:30 musical track produced entirely using bicycle components.

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

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  • Hart Noecker January 20, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Bill de Blasio’s cops are beating up the elderly for jaywalking while 16 people in NYC have already been killed by cars this month. #ZeroVision

    http://nypost.com/2014/01/19/cops-beat-elderly-man-after-he-jaywalked/

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    • spare_wheel January 20, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      the dude just got elected — let’s see what he does over the next 6-12 months before we condemn. (even though de blasio is a democratic apparatchik he appears to genuinely care about social justice/empowerment.)

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  • Dave January 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    So, when is Fox Point going to require women to wear burkas and chastity belts to prevent rape? What’s wrong with this dumb, red-necked country’s fucked up transportation culture??!!

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  • Anne Hawley January 20, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Oh good. Let’s raise even more barriers to the simple act of walking. Good going, Fox Point.

    I have no problem with the general advisability of wearing light-colored clothes while walking at night. By all means, carry or wear a light. But REQUIRING reflective clothing? It’s a thinly-disguised prohibition against poor people walking in a rich people’s neighborhood.

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    • Psyfalcon January 20, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Check out the streetview of that place. I almost can’t blame them… except they were the ones who failed to put in sidewalks in the first place.

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    • wsbob January 20, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Most likely, you’ve not read the new ordinance, but instead, just the myfoxpointnow news story which this Monday Roundup provides a link to.

      From that news story:

      “…The new document will require pedestrians wear some form of reflective clothing, use reflectors or have a flashlight on hand in an attempt to ensure motorists are able to see people traversing along roadways. …” http://m.myfoxpointnow.com/news/fox-point-passes-reflective-clothing-requirement-b99184344z1-240310571.html

      Difficult to tell from the story, whether the new ordinance will in fact require use of reflective clothing, or whether reflective clothing will simply be one choice of either reflective clothing, reflectors, or a flashlight.

      Link to the village’s current ordinance ‘CHAPTER 23,
      BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS, ROLLER SKATES & SKIS, ROLLER BLADES’ (the new ordinance doesn’t seem to be in the code: http://www.vil.fox-point.wi.us/vertical/Sites/%7B83EA0406-DD07-4114-A4A0-57078ECDDD72%7D/uploads/%7B5D02E975-9A84-400E-8B55-EBF84783C99B%7D.pdf

      The Fox Point news story says also: “…In an effort to keep walkers and joggers safe at night amid the village’s darkened rural characteristics, …”. Concern of that type is commendable.

      I suppose Fox Point may be, in bikeportland news editor Michael Andersen’s words: “…well-to-do…”, whatever that’s supposed to mean, and whatever it has to do with the means a community uses to keep pedestrians safe within the community. Couldn’t help but notice the Fox Point Village Hall address: 7200 N. Santa Monica Blvd. Fox Point, WI 53217. Even the not so well to do can probably afford a flashlight or few bucks for something reflective to pin onto their dark clothing, if that’s what they want to wear.

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      • Michael Andersen (News Editor) January 20, 2014 at 6:58 pm

        Good note about flashlights, wsbob. The “well-to-do” refers to Fox Point having median household income of twice the statewide level.

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        • wsbob January 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm

          They can probably budget some of their per capita household income for a few extra flashlights and harbor freight reflective vests (first dollar figure is Fox Point, second is the state’s):

          Median household income, 2008-2012 $102,552 $52,627

          With that kind of income, more easily than some places, they could maybe put in more streetlights and sidewalks too, possibly obviating some of the need for pedestrians to use personal visibility gear. Not having been to this town, the Fox Point News story’s description, “…rural characteristics…”, stands out for me. For people that enjoy rural settings, proliferation of streetlights and sidewalks isn’t so great.

          If the town’s people can reasonably improve safety for pedestrians, in part by having them use personal visibility gear, that may be a good place to start, before deciding to build a lot of additional infrastructure that blots out the night sky and the stars, puts glare in the eyes of people out for a quiet walk, and obliges them to walk entirely off the road.

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          • 9watts January 20, 2014 at 7:50 pm

            Whoa, wsbob, what a convoluted way to sidestep the obvious: demand that those in cars to slow the hell down and look for pedestrians. What’s next, fluorescent garb (or flashlights) for deer?

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            • spare_wheel January 21, 2014 at 7:40 am

              one estimate suggests that motorists in the usa kill 1 million animals per day.

              http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/technology/13roadkill.html?_r=0

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              • 9watts January 21, 2014 at 8:06 am

                Exactly. And about 90 humans(most of which are also in cars) per day too.

                Gotta make those scofflaw pedestrians responsible for their own safety!

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        • wsbob January 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm

          Sounds like an interesting town. Michael, still curious what you think the town’s double than statewide median income residents, or as you described it…”well to do” residents, has to do with this new ordinance having been put together and adopted.

          Another interesting bit of data from the census findings, is that 60 percent of the town’s residents are between 65 and 18 years of age. Many of these people may have kids that like to run, bike, skateboard, walk. Could be that adoption of the ordinance, came about in part due to concern the town’s majority age group had for the safety of their kids.

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      • Joseph E January 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm

        Bob, Fox Point is only 9 miles from downtown Milwaukee. It’s a white (91%) upper-middle class suburb (median household income = $100,000 per the link), within biking distance or a bus ride from many low income people in the city. Should everyone who rides a bus to there be required to have a flashlight or high-vis clothing? You have to walk to a bus stop. Who is this law targeting?
        Map: http://goo.gl/maps/THpdE

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        • Alan 1.0 January 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm

          Who is this law targeting?

          I doubt the town council intends to target anyone. My guess is they intend to protect their many residents who have deep pockets, fancy cars, long commutes, and aging night vision from expensive lawsuits and insurance premiums. Rather than inconvenience the driver to slow down and keep their eyes peeled, they shift the blame onto the victim.

          New-model deer should be equipped with airbags.

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        • wsbob January 20, 2014 at 11:57 pm

          Regardless of how close it is to a big city, Fox Point is a small town, population less than 7000, described as having ‘rural characteristics’, meaning possibly, that street lighting throughout town isn’t extensive. For most of the years in their existence, up until about the last 30 years, many of the suburbs outside of Portland, had minimal infrastructure, and were darkened rural in character: Beaverton, Tigard, Aloha, Newberg, you name it.

          So the town feels that pedestrian safety may be improved if people using the street and traveling outside a motor vehicle, equip themselves with…yet to be exactly determined, given the actual wording of the new ordinance doesn’t seem to have been located and presented here…some form of personal visibility gear, which may include some type of reflective clothing.

          Before assuming that the town is going to oblige every person using the street outside a motor vehicle to wear some extremely extensive degree of reflective coverage on their clothing, it may pay for readers to this bikeportland story, to take a breath, until they know, or find out just exactly what Fox Point will be expecting pedestrians to be using in the way of personal visibility gear. If it’s clothing, not much more than a bit of reflective binding here or there, an arm band, and so on, may be all the town is hoping for.

          The ordinance reported on seems to be applied to every person that uses the street outside a motor vehicle. Modern flashlights today can be very small, low priced, sometimes free. Some forms of reflective clothing can be very small in terms of volume required for transporting on your person; like a purse umbrella, or less.

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          • 9watts January 21, 2014 at 7:36 am

            “Modern flashlights today can be very small, low priced, sometimes free.”

            With all due respect, wsbob, I don’t think this is the issue. It is that the (rather poorly written) article does not include one word obliging those driving to take responsibility.

            “there’s no indication the new Fox Point ordinance was brought about by assignment of blame to pedestrians.”

            You can say this, but it is quite obvious that the way this ordinance and the article discussing it are set up 100% of the responsibility is being assigned to those outside of cars. This is farcical.

            “Assignment of fair level of responsibility for personal safety to pedestrians…”

            Please explain how the article or ordinance supports this statement. What is the fair level of responsibility assigned to those driving? And why is any of this the responsibility of the walker?

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            • wsbob January 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm

              9watts
              “Modern flashlights today can be very small, low priced, sometimes free.”
              With all due respect, wsbob, I don’t think this is the issue. It is that the (rather poorly written) article does not include one word obliging those driving to take responsibility.
              “there’s no indication the new Fox Point ordinance was brought about by assignment of blame to pedestrians.”
              You can say this, but it is quite obvious that the way this ordinance and the article discussing it are set up 100% of the responsibility is being assigned to those outside of cars. This is farcical.
              “Assignment of fair level of responsibility for personal safety to pedestrians…”
              Please explain how the article or ordinance supports this statement. What is the fair level of responsibility assigned to those driving? And why is any of this the responsibility of the walker?
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              The Fox Point Now story just reports the news; it’s not that media sources’ job to oblige responsibility for safe driving to be taken by people driving. State and municipal laws, law enforcement, and personal responsibility address responsibility people driving are obliged to take. Check Wiconsin’s and more of Fox Point’s laws and ordinances if you’re curious about that.

              From the story about Fox Point’s new ordinance (actual ordinance language apparently not yet published in the news.), there’s no indication whatsoever that the intent or the effect of the new ordinance, is to assign 100% responsibility for road use safety of people using the road outside of cars, to this group alone. No indication the new ordinance is designed, intended, or would have the effect of cancelling road use laws and ordinances that people driving are subject to.

              Again…check road use statutes…Wisconsin’, Oregon’s, your choice, because to some degree, I think they may have similarities…if you’re interested in developing a better sense of what the respective road use responsibilities are for people driving, and for people using the road outside a motor vehicle.

              Just because a person as a road user, isn’t driving a motor vehicle, does not mean they are relieved of taking some of the responsibility for their own safely.

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              • 9watts January 21, 2014 at 6:59 pm

                “Just because a person as a road user, isn’t driving a motor vehicle, does not mean they are relieved of taking some of the responsibility for their own safely.”

                But before cars there would have been absolutely no reason to take these precautions. In fact I’m having a hard time imagining what the concept of safely w/r/t using a road pre-car would entail. Got any ideas, wsbob?

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                • Pete January 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm
                • 9watts January 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm

                  That is a great video, Pete. I’ve posted it here several times myself. Were you intending it as an illustration of
                  (a) my point, or
                  (b) the fact that in this periods (1906) with cars still in the minority there were still dangers from horses, trolleys, and the mixture of many different modes?

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                • wsbob January 23, 2014 at 12:17 am

                  9watts
                  “Just because a person as a road user, isn’t driving a motor vehicle, does not mean they are relieved of taking some of the responsibility for their own safely.”
                  But before cars there would have been absolutely no reason to take these precautions. In fact I’m having a hard time imagining what the concept of safely w/r/t using a road pre-car would entail. Got any ideas, wsbob?
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                  Unless you’ve got your hands on a ‘way-back machine’ and are planning on going back to that time, it’s probably not worth thinking about.

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                • 9watts January 23, 2014 at 7:08 am

                  wsbob,
                  I don’t need a way-back machine to know that before automobiles, traffic deaths were rare or perhaps even all but non-existent. Do you know otherwise?

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  • CaptainKarma January 20, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Why did it take a foia request to get info on the Workin Kirk Bridge out of TriMet? Rhetorical question.

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  • Dave January 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Time for pedestrians to stop walking where sidewalks aren’t and walking across lawns and through landscaping regardless of the damage we do.
    Anyone’s life is worth more than a damned flower bed–treat it like the homeowner’s fault for living where they don’t pave sidewalks.

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  • steeplechase3kpdx January 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    FYI the line for the “Faster passenger rail” come right back to this page

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    • steeplechase3kpdx January 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      “link” that is

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      • Michael Andersen (News Editor) January 20, 2014 at 6:59 pm

        Thanks, fixed.

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        • q`Tzal January 21, 2014 at 7:40 am

          Now the link says:
          “http://bikeportland.org/2014/01/20/portlandtransport.com/archives/2014/01/will-oregon-passenger-rails-two-alignment-options-affect-portland.html”
          Unfortunately the bit in bold must be remove manually.
          But at least the reader can find the intended article.

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  • Bike Milwaukie January 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    The Portland Transport/Amtrak link is not good.

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  • Doug Klotz January 20, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    I do wonder about the constitutionality of a law requiring people to wear certain types of clothing, when they’re traveling on the public street.

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    • wsbob January 20, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      What provision of what constitution are you concerned the ordinance Fox Point has approved, may not be in compliance with? The village has apparently added to its required safety equipment for road use. Doesn’t seem to be something devised to deprive people of their freedom of speech, religion, right to bear arms, unfairly discriminate by race, creed, or color.

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    • 9watts January 20, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      I wonder about the asymmetric assignment of behavior adjustments–to the people outside of cars–when it is those in cars who are the threat, not the darkness or the clothing.

      In Germany, the car companies went back to the drawing board and came up with more powerful (smart) headlights. No assignment of blame or fault to those walking or their choice in garb.

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      • wsbob January 20, 2014 at 11:26 pm

        From the Fox Point story, there’s no indication the new Fox Point ordinance was brought about by assignment of blame to pedestrians. Assignment of fair level of responsibility for personal safety to pedestrians in a small town with rural character, is what seems to be happening there.

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        • wsbob January 21, 2014 at 12:09 am

          Actually, I think what I wrote here:

          “…Assignment of fair level of responsibility for personal safety to pedestrians in a small town with rural character, is what seems to be happening there.”

          …may probably be more accurately phrased as:

          ‘Clarification of fair level of responsibility for personal safety to pedestrians in a small town with rural character, is what seems to be happening there.’.

          Depends on language of the town’s ordinance and what the town is seeking to have pedestrians use in the way of personal visibility gear.

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        • 9watts January 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm

          “there’s no indication the new Fox Point ordinance was brought about by assignment of blame to pedestrians.”

          I don’t know about that, but the news story omits any mention of responsibility on anyone’s part *except* for pedestrians doing things to make themselves more visible. Seems predictably asymmetric to me: let’s not say anything about those of us who are *inside* cars; it is much more fun to focus all our energies on those outside our vehicles so that when we look through our windshields at night we won’t be *surprised* when we zip around a blind corner counting on the road to be clear even though we can’t see very well what is about at those speeds.

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  • JJJJ January 20, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Bixi has filed for bankruptcy. Portland made a huge mistake choosing the company with political hands in every pocket rather than the better competitor.

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    • was carless January 20, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      So we should have hired the company that is $50 million in debt and get stuck with NO bike share program in the future? That makes no sense.

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      • JJJ January 21, 2014 at 8:03 am

        Youre confused? Portland did hire the company with huge debts which has now declared bankruptcy, meaning potentially no bike share, rather than their american competitor .

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        • Michael Andersen (News Editor) January 21, 2014 at 9:17 am

          I think JJJ is saying the city should have chosen B-Cycle, which competed with Alta for the bikeshare bid. They’re owned by Trek and stick to equipment supply rather than operations.

          As for whether the Bixi/PBSC bankruptcy will effect local bikesharing: Alta has claimed several times that Portland will be unaffected by this. Other cities have said the same. Keep in mind that bankruptcy does not mean a company is going away, only that the people it owes money to (such as, in this case, the City of Montreal) are about to get screwed.

          The root of Bixi’s problems, as far as I can tell, was their disastrous decision to build their own software for their systems. The software they built didn’t work, and this has cascaded into lots of financial problems. As we’ve shared on the site before, Alta has filed a notice of intent to sue Bixi, then withdrawn the suit; Nice Ride MN, a different client of Bixi, has sued them. I’m not sure what all of this means, but Alta does seem to be once again delivering working hardware and software to its client cities.

          All that said, I definitely agree that the Bixi bankruptcy is newsworthy and worrisome. Thanks for noting it, JJJ.

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  • gutterbunnybikes January 20, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Nice to see that others aren’t convinced that commuting to work is “where it’s at”.

    The article by Walker Angell, is great. And does a very good job on why many of us out side of the inner core are often upset that only a couple square miles get most of the attention in town. We aren’t looking to ride downtown, we want to get to the local neighborhood shops, schools, and resturants.

    Myself living on the west side of 82nd on the east side, seldom ever have a reason to go all the way downtown. Not that I don’t like hitting the prom for a nice easy rec ride, but most my riding is within 2 miles of my house.

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    • spare_wheel January 21, 2014 at 7:54 am

      it’s very easy for someone like walker angell, who commutes by car, to say that it’s not about commuting. angell has a convenient climate-controlled and heavily subsidized choice. the only problem with his utopian dutch vision is that his commuting choice is a classic tragedy of the commons.

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    • medium-fat tyres January 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Good luck convincing your neighbors that what they want to do is invest thousands of dollars in special clothing, spend time every morning putting those things on, and then, GO OUT IN PUBLIC.

      LOLOLOLOL… that’s how I feel about Wall St, type jobs. No thanks right? sounds horrible!

      I’d rather wear my leggings… also huge LOL at this… stop ogling women on the way to work Angell… that’s sexism.

      what a terrible way to start an otherwise informative article.

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    • davemess January 21, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      And plenty of others in outer SE and NE head downtown every day. I agree that the city desperately needs more bike infrastructure in the “outer core”, but there are plenty of people who live out here who also utilize “inner core” facilities.

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  • Suburban January 21, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Re: Wenachee Froot Loop
    Can anyone explain (more convincingly) why anyone would want to erect bicycle-scenic-byway signs in this or any area? The fact that Hwy.2 is a busy highway is not an argument. It seems to only give orchardists something to “pusth back” about.

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  • Tim Davis January 22, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I grew up just outside of Fox Point, and it is indeed a pretty wealthy community, but that’s immaterial here, at least to me. More importantly, I can say that it’s VERY dark there at night, so wearing something that would make you visible to cars, especially on streets where traffic really zips, is definitely a smart idea.

    Fox Point feels semi-rural, and it’s quite scenic, running along a big bluff over Lake Michigan. It was quite fun to ride through as a kid, although I certainly never tried it at night.

    And someone joked about making deer wear bright clothing. :) That reminded me: I have never, ever seen a metro-area community that was SO dense with deer! Hopefully that makes car drivers extremely vigilant and careful. The Audubon Society is on the northern border of Fox Point, and there are always hundreds of deer all over the area.

    I’ll check with my parents to see what the real story in Fox Point is, and I’ll report if I have anything meaningful to share. :)

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    • 9watts January 22, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      “More importantly, I can say that it’s VERY dark there at night, so wearing something that would make you visible to cars, especially on streets where traffic really zips, is definitely a smart idea.”

      You are making my point.
      Instead of reifying speeding as normal, and putting the onus on everyone else to accommodate that, how about a little self-reflection for a change?

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  • Tim Davis January 22, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Geez, 9watts, was that necessary? Yes, I’m admittedly thin-skinned, but “how about a little self-reflection for a change?” (with the implication that you’ve known me for years and that I’m someone who throughout my entire life has never thought of anyone else’s needs or looked at the bigger picture) are words that clearly hurt–to ME. I’m always incredibly careful to never hurt anyone, and I love that 90% of the comments here do the same, unlike the Oregonian readers’ bizarre rants (seriously, what planet do those commenters come from?). :)

    Plus, I wasn’t at ALL advocating high speeds. In fact, I always strongly encourage low neighborhood speed limits, as I did elsewhere in my post. Also, it has to be taken in the context of my (admittedly super lame) blathering about Fox Point; there are a couple of high-speed streets in Fox Point, and the rest of the suburb is incredibly quiet and pleasant. I have absolutely wonderful memories of biking there countless times. But you’re right that my Fox Point discussion was rather pointless and not well thought out. I’m definitely sorry to everyone that I didn’t advance that particular topic. I probably shouldn’t add what my mother thinks about the ordinance, though; I just heard back from her. :) I really don’t have a strong opinion about it at all. However, 9watts makes a great point in that 100% of the onus is on those NOT driving cars. I also really hope that Anne Hawley isn’t correct; I fear that she might be.

    Hopefully my comments and pictures regarding Indianapolis were FAR more helpful for discussion and maybe even for helping us eventually create more people-friendly design in our urban core and throughout Portland. Traveling is the most informative, rewarding thing anyone can do, and it really shows our shortcomings, as well as some areas in which we really excel. Best of all, traveling gives us fresh ideas about what might or might not work, etc.

    What I LOVE about the comments following BikePortland articles (with another huge shout-out to the unimaginable amount of work that Jonathan, Michael and the team does to educate and inform us and make all of these great discussions possible) is that the vast majority of the comments give us (or at least me) a new insight and help us really try to find great solutions to traffic and livability issues–*without* being hurtful to others (PLEASE be nice to others when you reply! Your words are much more powerful than you think!). I don’t comment often because, again, I AM thin-skinned and because when I do, I can’t help but write minor essays. :)

    I DO, however, write to elected officials all the time, as well as take every Metro or other survey possible. Let’s keep pushing our politicians to have the courage to make Portland more PEOPLE-friendly rather than an auto-clogged mess. If they know they have our support, they’re much more likely to make it happen sooner!

    Cheers,
    Tim

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    • 9watts January 22, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Tim,
      my sincere apologies. I worded my response poorly. The offending phrase was not meant to be directed at you, but the phenomenon you highlighted: the ubiquitous, predictable, and frustrating tendency for those writing the rules to view the world through their auto-bound eyes.

      I

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    • wsbob January 23, 2014 at 12:44 am

      “…However, 9watts makes a great point in that 100% of the onus is on those NOT driving cars. …” Tim Davis

      Unless somehow, people driving in Fox Point are relieved of complying with state, county and municipal laws regulating driving, there’s no indication the new ordinance will place 100% of the responsibility for safety of people using the road outside of their cars onto themselves alone.

      Across the country, driving related laws generally require people driving to have some responsibility for the safety of other road users whether they use the road, inside, or outside a motor vehicle. What exactly, the limits of that responsibility is, for people driving, and for people walking, biking, etc, is open for discussion, but it’s most certainly not 100 percent on the part of one or the other, nor should it be.

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      • 9watts January 23, 2014 at 7:06 am

        “Across the country, driving related laws generally require people driving to have some responsibility for the safety of other road users”

        Then how do you explain that Wanda Cortese (just to name one person) is able to all but kill someone on a bicycle wearing dayglo in broad daylight on a straight stretch of road with her car, and all she gets (or appears to have gotten from available information) is a $260 ticket for failing to maintain her lane? Are you suggesting this is the exception, wsbob? Because I don’t think it is; I think it is the norm.

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        • wsbob January 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm

          “…Are you suggesting this is the exception, wsbob?…” 9watts

          What’s the question?

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          • Alan 1.0 January 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm

            Hoo’s on first.

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      • El Biciclero January 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm

        Between two groups of law-abiding citizens–pedestrians and drivers–which group, by continuing it’s current behavior will now be a group of scofflaws?

        On whom is the onus placed to improve safety? Everybody was subject to applicable laws, but now pedestrians are subject to more laws. 100% of new laws apply only to pedestrians. I think that’s what folks are trying to say.

        Why weren’t speed limits reduced (change to laws applying to drivers)? Why weren’t sidewalks or street lighting mandated (change to laws applying to transpo agencies)? Instead, the new responsibilities are placed on the weakest player in the game by only changing the laws that apply to pedestrians.

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        • wsbob January 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

          El Biciclero
          Between two groups of law-abiding citizens–pedestrians and drivers–which group, by continuing it’s current behavior will now be a group of scofflaws?
          On whom is the onus placed to improve safety? Everybody was subject to applicable laws, but now pedestrians are subject to more laws. 100% of new laws apply only to pedestrians. I think that’s what folks are trying to say.
          Why weren’t speed limits reduced (change to laws applying to drivers)? Why weren’t sidewalks or street lighting mandated (change to laws applying to transpo agencies)? Instead, the new responsibilities are placed on the weakest player in the game by only changing the laws that apply to pedestrians.
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          Seems like you’re trying to say people using the road outside a motor vehicle, are subject to more laws than people driving are subject to. If you think a comparative count is important, I suppose that may be something you’re interesting doing.

          I’ve never been to Fox Point, don’t know what the conditions are there, except from the news story, and from the comments left by Tim Davis, so I can’t answer the questions in your last paragraph. Maybe you or someone else would like to contact a Fox Point official with your questions, for their response to them.

          I don’t think requiring pedestrians to be aware of their visibility to other road users, particularly those driving motor vehicles, is a new responsibility. That obligation is essentially a general part of safe road use regulations around the country.

          It sounds as though what Fox Point’s new ordinance…the text of which apparently has not yet been published where everyone can read it…basically seeks to do, is to clarify responsibility of people using the road outside a motor vehicle, emphasizing its importance of that responsibility by requiring by town ordinance, their use of some form of visibility gear when using the road.

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          • 9watts January 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm

            As usual El Biciclero says it best.
            And half as many words as wsbob’s reply, which makes my head hurt.

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            • wsbob January 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm

              9watts
              As usual El Biciclero says it best.
              And half as many words as wsbob’s reply, which makes my head hurt.
              Recommended 1

              Nobody’s forcing you to read what I write.

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              • 9watts January 23, 2014 at 11:21 pm

                I appreciate your consideration.

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          • El Biciclero January 23, 2014 at 9:53 pm

            “Seems like you’re trying to say people using the road outside a motor vehicle, are subject to more laws than people driving are subject to. If you think a comparative count is important, I suppose that may be something you’re interesting doing.”

            No, I’m not saying pedestrians are subject to more laws than motorists (pedestrians are not operating multi-ton, high-velocity machinery, after all), I’m saying pedestrians are subject to more laws than pedestrians used to be, whereas motorists are subject to the same laws they used to be. Only pedestrians have a new, additional law to obey now, motorists don’t. Apparently people getting run over by cars has nothing to do with driving more safely, it’s all about improving walking safety.

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            • wsbob January 23, 2014 at 11:15 pm

              “…Only pedestrians have a new, additional law to obey now, motorists don’t. …” El Biciclero

              Since you seem to doubt that Fox Point townspeople made a good judgement in that respect, perhaps you should contact someone from the town to find more about their reasoning that led to creation of the new ordinance.

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              • 9watts January 23, 2014 at 11:19 pm
                • wsbob January 24, 2014 at 9:05 am

                  “Already done, wsbob.

                  http://tcstreetsforpeople.org/node/223
                  and here: http://daily.sightline.org/2007/04/19/car-head/” 9watts

                  Nothing at that link suggests you’ve contacted anyone from Fox Point that has given you further information about the town deciding to enact the new ordinance.

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                • 9watts January 26, 2014 at 11:55 am

                  Fox Point’s online presence is pretty mum about all this. The relevant chapter (23) of the village ordinance is missing from the version that is posted to the web.

                  Let us say that I (or you) get someone one the phone from Fox Point. What will I learn? Boilerplate. That this is all for pedestrians’ own safety, bla, bla, bla. Nothing of what I’ve seen in relation to this topic suggests anyone locally is tuned in to, say, El Biciclero’s clear thinking about this question. I think I can spend my time in more productive pursuits (like arguing with you here on bikeportland about it).

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                • 9watts July 5, 2014 at 8:35 am

                  The relevant chapter of the Fox Point Village Code is now available online. It includes six(!) pages of requirements for people biking, skating, and as of January, ’14 also walking. Here’s the relevant portion for those who still walk in Fox Point:

                  23.08 VISIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR PEDESTRIANS ON VILLAGE STREETS AFTER DARK
                  (a) Pedestrians Must Be Clearly Visible. No person may walk, run, stand, or otherwise be present on a public roadway between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise, unless such person is clearly visible as defined herein.
                  (b) Clearly Visible Defined. Clearly visible for purposes of this section shall be defined as follows. A person is clearly visible if, and only if, the person satisfies one or more of the following requirements:
                  (1) Reflective Clothing. At least 4 square inches of the surface area of the outer layer of such person’s clothing is reflectorized such that it is visible from a distance of up to 500 feet when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle, both to the front and rear of such person; or
                  (2) Reflectors. Such person is equipped with reflectors with a diameter of at least 2 inches of surface area, or reflective tape that has at least 2 square inches of surface area, which is carried or attached to such person in a manner as to be visible from up to 500 feet when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle, both to the front and rear of such person.
                  (3) Flashlight Alternative. A flashlight that is lit and worn or carried by the
                  pedestrian and which is visible from a distance of up to 500 feet in front of such person may be used in lieu of the foregoing reflective requirements for the front of such person; and a flashlight that is lit and worn or carried by the pedestrian that is red in color that is visible from a distance of up to 500 feet behind such person may be used in lieu of the reflective requirements for the rear of such person.
                  (c) Parental Responsibility. No parent or guardian of any child shall authorize or knowingly permit such child to violate any of the provisions of this section.
                  (d) Multiple Parties, Individual Responsibilities. The requirements of this section apply equally to every person on a public roadway. The fact that one or more member from a group of pedestrians may satisfy the requirements, does not relieve other members of the group of the obligation to do so.
                  23.20 PENALTY
                  (a) Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in Section 1.07 of this Code.
                  http://www.vil.fox-point.wi.us/vertical/sites/%7B83EA0406-DD07-4114-A4A0-57078ECDDD72%7D/uploads/Chapter_23_Bicycles_Skateboards_Roller_Skates__Skis_Roller_Blades_and_Pedestrians.pdf

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                • 9watts July 5, 2014 at 11:13 am

                  And it gets better. If you refuse to pay the fine you can end up in the House of Correction.
                  Here’s the section on penalties:

                  1.07 General Penalty.
                  (1) General Penalty. Except where a penalty is provided elsewhere in this Code, any adult person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Code shall, upon conviction of such violation, be subject to a penalty, which shall be as follows:
                  (a) First Offense – Penalty. Any adult person who shall violate any provision of this Code shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit not less than Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) nor more than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00), together with all costs, surcharges, penalty assessments, and any other taxable item of cost as provided for by the laws of the State of Wisconsin as applicable to forfeiture actions that are in effect at the time of the offense, and any other taxable costs as imposed by any other provision of this Code, and in default or payment of the same, shall be imprisoned in the House of Correction for one (1) day for each Twenty-five ($25.00) owed, or fraction thereof, but not to exceed ninety (90) days. Any imprisonment imposed in lieu of payment shall comply with any then-applicable State law requiring a lesser alternate period of imprisonment.
                  (b) Second and Subsequent Offenses – Penalty. Any adult person who is found guilty of violating any ordinance or part of an ordinance of this Code who has previously been convicted of a violation of the same ordinance or part of an ordinance within three (3) years from the date of the last offense to the date of the current offense shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than Two Thousand Five Hundred ($2,500.00) for each such offense, together with all costs, surcharges, penalty assessments, and any other taxable item of cost as provided for by the laws of the State of Wisconsin as applicable to forfeiture actions that are in effect at the time of the offense, and any other taxable costs as imposed by any other provision of this Code and, in default of payment of the same, shall be imprisoned in the House of Correction for one (1) day for each Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) owed, or fraction thereof, but not to exceed ninety (90) days. Any imprisonment imposed in lieu of payment shall comply with any then-applicable State law requiring a lesser alternate period of imprisonment.

                  http://www.vil.fox-point.wi.us/vertical/sites/%7B83EA0406-DD07-4114-A4A0-57078ECDDD72%7D/uploads/Chapter_1_General_Provisions.pdf

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              • wsbob July 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm

                9watts at: http://bikeportland.org/2014/01/20/the-monday-roundup-bronzeville-biking-mandatory-reflection-more-100166#comment-5147149

                Nice work watts. Wording of the new ordinance doesn’t seem particularly onerous. Reflective material worn in the amount of four square inches, is not very much reflectivity. Could be a four inch square, a strip one inch by four inch, a circle, triangle, etc. Really, that’s a dinky amount. I don’t have one right here to measure it out, but for example, I’m fairly sure that construction type safety vests, easily have three to four times the square inches of reflective material on them.

                On dark streets, country roads and so on, even more would be better. I’d hope people would take the initiative to use even more than the minimum of visibility materials, and combinations of the options the town’s ordinance requires.

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    • spare_wheel January 24, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Fixed it for you:

      “In fact, I always strongly encourage low speed limits.

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  • Tim Davis January 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks so much, 9watts–that means a lot. :) And you’re SO right about that unfortunate tendency of the auto-centric rule-writers!

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    • 9watts January 22, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      I appreciate your minor essay, and thoughtful suggestions and requests. I am not as careful as I should be and sometimes get a little carried away in my posting. So thanks for the reminder.

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  • Tim Davis January 22, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Absolutely LOL! And thanks so much for bearing with and getting through my essay! :)

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  • 9watts January 23, 2014 at 7:51 am

    wsbob,

    our disagreement here I think boils down to the fact that this new proposed ordinance fingers pedestrians (and makes no mention of anyone in cars having any additional responsibility). As such, the (marginal?) onus for addressing the existing problem–so conceived–would seem to be wholly on pedestrians. You keep dragging existing laws that supposedly assign responsibility to those driving cars into the conversation, but given the framing of the article we are discussing I am not sure why this is relevant. The Fox Point cheeses obviously think that the status quo (existing distribution of responsibilities) isn’t working and that more should be done–by pedestrians.

    Contrary to the Fox Point cheeses, I see this in a rather different light. People can and should wear what they want–or nothing at all if it pleases hem. Those driving on curvy, dark (or straight, well-lit) roads in the vicinity of Fox Point, or anywhere really, should *always* be mindful of the possibility that someone not in a car (person walking, person biking, deer, boulder, stranded person whose car broke down and who didn’t think of himself as a pedestrian-who-needed-special-garb when he set out that evening) might be sharing the road, so to speak.

    You obviously don’t see things this way, and I’m trying to understand why; by what logic you think this assigning of responsibility-for-their-safety to pedestrians is good policy.

    Did we forget distracted driving?

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  • wsbob January 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    watts…I think you’re out of line in referring to the people of Fox Point as “…cheeses…”.

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    • 9watts January 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      noun
      (in phrase big cheese) informal

      an important person:
      he was a really big cheese in the business world
      Origin:

      1920s: probably via Urdu from Persian čīz ‘thing’: the phrase the cheese was used earlier to mean ‘first-rate’ (i.e. the thing)

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      • Tim Davis January 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        OMG–that totally cracked up this old cheesehead! :)

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      • wsbob January 23, 2014 at 11:24 pm

        It’s not been reported that only Fox Point’s ‘important persons’ were the exclusive authors and adopters of the new ordinance. What things led the town to decide to bring this new ordinance into the town code would be interesting to read about, and more informative than a bunch of uninformed cheap shots.

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        • 9watts January 23, 2014 at 11:27 pm

          Maybe. Or maybe not. Something tells me we already know what we might find if we chased down all the rabbit holes you keep suggesting, wsbob. Well intentioned people who suffer from one or another version of what Alan Durning calls carhead. There’s really no great mystery that needs solving.

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          • wsbob January 24, 2014 at 9:18 am

            “…Something tells me we already know what we might find…” 9watts

            Given the bigoted manner in which you presume the town’s reasoning for enacting the new ordinance, it probably would be a waste of time for you to even try contact someone from Fox Point for more information about why townspeople have taken the course they have with regard to people’s safety when using the street outside a motor vehicle.

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            • 9watts January 25, 2014 at 8:45 am

              wsbob, I think the onus is on you to show that what Alan Durning calls carhead does not explain their asymmetric approach, their view of pedestrians as uniquely responsible for changing their behavior. I’ve laid out my ideas, my reasoning, but you have not supplied your rationale, or even indicated what it is you think inspired this ordinance.

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