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Comment of the Week

Comment of the Week: The case against a bike path alongside I-84

Friday, February 27th, 2015
A rendering of a possible Sullivan’s Gulch Corridor.
(Rendering: Nick Falbo, Alta Planning + Design)

Biking on a flat off-road path is terrific. But biking on many first-rate streets might be better.

That’s the argument made on Wednesday by reader Terry D-M, at least. In the midst of the heated discussion over whether the Portland Bureau of Transportation needs an equity and inclusion manager, Terry offered a comment that seemed a little off-topic at first but eventually circled directly on point.

The job of an equity manager, Terry argued, would be to help people such as the members of the city’s volunteer Bicycle Advisory Committee escape the involuntary blinders that he thinks caused them to neglect infrastructure outside the central city in favor of (in his view) expensive luxuries like the long-planned Sullivan’s Gulch Corridor between the Rose Quarter and NE 21st.

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Comment of the Week: A definitive wishlist for Portland’s bridges

Friday, February 20th, 2015
Last (and cold) sunrise of 2010-5
The Burnside’s bike lanes are OK;
it’s the landings that hold it back.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

From afar, Portland’s bridges are civic treasures. Up close, they’re little slices of rural highway in the middle of the most beautiful part of the city.

To its credit, Multnomah County asked for ways to change this, and this week BikePortland readers certainly delivered — none more comprehensively and persuasively than reader MaxD, whose Tuesday morning comment on the subject picked up on points raised by many other readers.

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Comment of the Week: 43 words that perfectly define good bike parking

Friday, February 6th, 2015
Bike parking at Franklin High School-2
Dear America: It’s not actually that hard.
Just ask Franklin High School.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Good bike parking: it’s not that hard but it’s not that common, at least in North America. Except in Portland, where we really do know how it’s done.

The explanations don’t get any shorter and sweeter than this one from BikePortland reader Jessica Roberts, who shared it beneath our story Tuesday about the city enforcing its bike parking code on a North Portland Home Depot in response to a resident’s complaint. (As we wrote, anybody can report potentially out-of-compliance bike parking in Portland by calling (503) 823-CODE (2633) or using the BDS online form.)

Here’s Roberts’ simple definition, plus a couple examples of rack designs that don’t cut it:

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Comment of the Week: The challenge of speaking up as a woman who bikes

Friday, January 30th, 2015
Wonk Night - Romp in the Comp Plan-3
Biking community leader Lisa Marie White, right,
leading an advocacy discussion at a BikePortland
Wonk Night in October.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Of all the conversations we’ve had on the site this week — there have been 1,100 comments on 27 posts — the biggest was about the line between journalism and community.

Many people who we respect disagreed with Jonathan’s decision to delete archived references in past stories to a man who, he’d decided, seemed to be using his perceived status to hurt other people.

The One of the most upvoted comments in the thread came from another reader and fellow community member who we respect a lot: Lisa Marie White, a prominent local biking advocate (most recently at Bike Walk Vote) and active community member. Here’s her take on Hart Noecker and, more importantly, on what Portland’s biking communities should learn from this conversation:

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Comment of the week: A brief intro to bike fitting

Monday, January 26th, 2015
Getting fit with Seth Hosmer-4
Getting fit.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Jonathan’s very personal post last week about recovering from his recent knee injury with the help of a local chiropractor prompted some useful and impressively respectful discussion about the lines between physical therapy, chiropractic care, training and health care in general.

But as a relatively casual rider who’s starting to feel the first persistent aches of my 30s, I was especially interested by a comment from a reader named David, who offered a simple, compelling introduction to the practice of bike fitting.

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Comment of the Week: Commissioner Steve Novick on the virtues of taxes

Friday, January 16th, 2015
Bike Walk Vote candidate party-10
Steve Novick at a Bike Walk Vote
candidate party in 2012.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

With friends like Joe Cortright, Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick doesn’t need enemies.

That’s the case Novick made this morning in a sharp response in the comments beneath a widely circulated column we published by Cortright, a local urban economist.

Cortright, who like Novick comes from a generally leftish perspective, had made eight arguments about transportation revenue in the context of Portland’s effort to create a new, local street fund. In the comment below, Novick raises thoughtful objections to two of them.

I have two main problems with what my friend Joe Cortright said in his recent column. First, he’s using generic arguments against a specific proposal while largely ignoring what the proposal actually is. Second, he’s adopting the rhetoric of his political opponents to attack spending on projects that he actually isn’t opposed to.

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Comment of the Week: The end of errands and driving’s decline

Friday, January 9th, 2015
DSC_4271
A truckful of outsourced errands.
(Photo: nshepard)

Say what you will about Amazon — they might have done as much as any private company to make low-car life convenient in the United States.

That seems to be the experience of BikePortland reader Chris, who wrote in a comment on our post about the federal government’s acknowledgement that per-capita driving has plateaued that e-commerce and doorside delivery have had a huge impact on his or her travel habits.

It’s not clear whether Chris has any kids, who are definitely a common cause of errand-running. Still, the personal examples here resonated with my life, too:

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Comment of the Week: Thinking globally, denying climate change locally

Friday, January 2nd, 2015
Oregonian front page day 2
Well, at least that much is true.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

People who don’t know BikePortland well, especially those who don’t bike much themselves, are sometimes surprised to learn that we don’t see ourselves as an environmentalist website.

Cutting your carbon is a great reason to ride a bike, but there are plenty of others.

Even so, most bike users have probably spent some time thinking about the relationship between small-scale and large-scale environmental action. Maybe that’s why so many readers’ nerves were touched by the link in this week’s Monday Roundup to the Oregonian editorial writers’ odd editorial explaining that they wouldn’t be editorializing about climate change this year because climate change is a national and international issue.

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Comment of the Week: Lawsuits, the quiet pressure behind city decisions

Friday, December 19th, 2014
clinton speed
Traffic on SE Clinton.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

As we wrote beneath the last Comment of the Week post, BikePortland has decided to be the only blog we’re aware of that pays for great comments. The person whose thoughts we select for this feature gets a crisp $5 bill in the mail, as a way for us to appreciate the site’s amazing discussion community. So watch your email — we might be in touch.

Street safety matters to cities. So does street comfort. But only one of those issues will land you in court.

That’s the insight shared this week by BikePortland reader paikiala, responding to the discussion on Wednesday’s post about a guerrilla traffic diverter installed on Clinton by anonymous activists.

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Comment of the Week: Nike’s self-inflicted recruitment challenge

Friday, December 5th, 2014
Nike World Campus
Gilded cage? Inside the berm of Nike World
Headquarters near Beaverton.
(Photo: Tracy Lee Carroll)

Is one of the region’s most important companies turning its back on talent by locking its campus off from biking and transit?

It’s hard not to feel that way after reading a series of comments this week from reader s30t. Here’s what s30t wrote in response to last week’s post about the potential for Nike’s planned expansion to finally upgrade nearby bikeways:

Interesting reading through all the comments here. I recently joined Nike, despite having heavy concerns about the commute. One year in I can say my concerns are justified. I try my best to commute by bike (or at least a bike/max combo) – but the time investment is huge. I’ve tried multiple different routes, but I live in NE Portland and it is almost impossible to keep the round trip commute less than 2-2.5 hours via bike or combo bike/public transit combo. if you work with Asia and Europe (which I do) you end up with many early a.m/late calls…that means hopping on my bike at 5 am and not getting back home until 7pm or later. I can see why commuting by bike is not an option for anyone with children (or even a dog for that matter!)

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