Comment of the Week

Comment of the Week: South Dakota’s official road fatality markers

by on November 20th, 2015 at 3:38 pm

think sign
An idea from another state.
(Photo: GasFoodNoLodging.com)

I’ve rarely seen BikePortland readers as frustrated as many seemed to be beneath Wednesday’s post about the state of Oregon’s decision to remove temporary memorials to people killed on state roads because they (the memorials, not the people who were killed) might cause people to slow down or stop while driving.

A huge wave of upvotes backed many of the black-humor responses that followed.

But amid the well-written venting was an interestingly constructive suggestion: if Oregon feels that handmade memorials are distracting, maybe it should create its own official memorials instead — just like South Dakota does.

That was the comment from BikePortland reader GlowBoy, who (if I’ve been following his comments correctly) recently relocated from Portland to Minneapolis:

I think we should have a monument to remember every single person who’s been killed by (or on) a road facility.

Oregon ought to enact the same law requiring signs like those in South Dakota, marking EVERY SINGLE SPOT where a person has died on their roads. SD may not be considered a very progressive state, but I think it’s a brilliant idea and should be copied everywhere.


Comment of the Week: A better way from Clinton to Tilikum

by on October 30th, 2015 at 4:46 pm

clinton tilikum map
Here’s another way to go.
(Map by Google)

Sometimes, you just have to stop reading the signs.

That’s the advice from BikePortland reader axoplasm, who responded to Tuesday’s post about the hassles of navigating to the east landing of Tilikum Crossing with a homemade route of his own that he said is “slightly longer” but “much faster, with simpler crossings and saner stoplights.”


What do you tell out of town drivers about Portland?

by on October 16th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

Howdy, stranger.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Editor’s note: Welcome to the first of a new occasional Friday tradition: a BikePortlander Post of the week. BP Posts is our new section where subscribers can write and publish their own posts (that everyone can comment on). We’ll be highlighting these on the Front Page every once in a while in lieu of comments of the week.

via BikePortlander “Carsharing Dave”

I recently returned from a trip where I’d rented a car. As I passed thru PDX I asked myself: what would I tell someone from out of town who was driving in Portland to pay special attention to?

The list needs to be short enough that people can remember it.


Comment of the Week: Portland, the city that can reinvent itself

by on September 25th, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Ride Along with the Stedman Family-27
Portland bike lover Helena Stedman in 2012.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Well, we sort of hate to give this recognition to the same person twice — let alone twice in a row. But amid all the amazingly insightful comments beneath Jonathan’s piece Wednesday about coming to terms with Portland’s big changes, one stood out as both accepting of Portland’s serious problems and focused on its enduring strengths.

It came from reader GutterBunnyBikes, who wrote, Thursday evening, about our city’s consistent ability to be “an active agent in its own evolution.”


Comment of the Week: One more Portland bike user for better pavement

by on August 21st, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Neighborhood greenway conditions-1
North Michigan Avenue: tighten your bolts.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

This time last year, it looked as if Portland’s city council was about to grit its teeth and start addressing two problems that Mayor Charlie Hales rode into office pledging to fix: the twin facts that our roads are both consistently unsafe and disintegrating beneath us.

Now, as Portland’s leaders get ready to file back in from vacation, all available signs point to both of those cans being kicked further down the road.

Meanwhile, as BikePortland reader Alex wrote in a comment on Tuesday, bike trips through this town keep getting bumpier.


Comment of the Week: SE Foster, the heart of Portland’s coming bike grid

by on August 7th, 2015 at 2:19 pm

SE Foster Road-4
Not currently a spot for
low-stress rolls.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Southeast Foster Road feels a long way from the heart of Portland’s transportation conversation at the moment. But that’s not going to last long.

Next year, right in the middle of Portland’s mayoral election, Foster is scheduled to be the site of the city’s most ambitious road diet yet, a conversion of passing lanes to bike and turn lanes that’s widely expected to create auto spillover onto other streets even as it dramatically improves the safety of driving or crossing Foster, which is currently one of the city’s 10 high-crash corridors.

The new bike lanes will be nothing more than paint, but six-foot-wide or buffered. And in a comment beneath Tuesday’s story exploring how to divvy up Portland’s bike-infrastructure budgets, BikePortland reader Gutterbunnybikes made an interesting case that those bike lanes will be more important than you think.

Why? Because unlike almost every other bike lane in Portland, they’re going to run right through commercial districts.


Comment of the Week: Biking, fitness and weight loss are three different things

by on June 12th, 2015 at 3:13 pm

East Sunday Parkways-33
Just a good time.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

There are lots of reasons to have a great time on a bike. Weight loss can sometimes be one of them, but shouldn’t have to be.

So how is it that so many messages about biking get caught up in messages about body type?

That’s the argument from BikePortland reader Anne Hawley, responding to a conversation started by Vancouver, B.C., writer Cecily Walker about whether active transportation advocacy groups should avoid “the ‘obesity’ scare word” when talking up biking and walking.


Comment of the Week: The real cost of having unsafe streets

by on June 5th, 2015 at 6:34 pm

Eleni rides home alone-1
On her own.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland is, thankfully, a relatively safe city to get around. Even the United States in general, with our 30,000 road deaths every year, is full of hundreds of millions of people who aren’t getting physically hurt.

But the real cost of Vision 30,000 (as I saw a local transportation planner put it the other day) isn’t broken bodies. And it doesn’t have anything to do with biking in particular. It’s the fact that almost all of us spend our entire lives in a constant, low-level fear of losing our daughter, our son, our spouse, our best friend, to traffic.

How does that perfectly reasonable fear shape our lives? How does it lead us to shape theirs?


Comment of the Week: What if there were a national campaign to shame people who drive illegally?

by on May 29th, 2015 at 3:36 pm

(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Sex crimes are horrific, and — despite the concerns of some about civil liberties — many states respond to their horror by publicly shaming people who commit them.

Maybe traffic crimes should be punished similarly, BikePortland reader invisiblebikes suggested in a comment Wednesday beneath our post about the newly launched Vision Zero PAC, which aims to put a spotlight on politicians who defend unsafe driving. As invisiblebikes describes it, the government wouldn’t even be involved.


Comment of the week: Portland’s road-diet deadline

by on May 22nd, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Southwest Naito Parkway, pre-redesign.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

How long is it supposed to take to drive across town?

Your answer to that question probably depends, more or less, on how long it took to do so when you moved to town.

That’s one of the ideas behind a comment BikePortland reader Carl Abbott added to Tuesday’s story about this week’s experimental redesign of Naito Parkway. Extrapolating a bit from the Naito situation, Carl speculated that as Portland’s buildings fill in and grow up, its streets might start filling up, too.