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Comment of the Week

Comments of the Week: Two readers’ concepts for fixing SE Ankeny at 11th

Friday, March 27th, 2015
ankeny 11th sandy DUAL MINI RAB_zpsoy5utvec
Full size below the jump.
(Image by reader Paikiala)

One of the great joys of BikePortland comments is that they make very clear how rich and deep our city’s transportation expertise has become over the last decade.

After we wrote on Thursday about a small tweak the city made recently to the strange six-way intersection of SE Ankeny, 11th and Sandy, not one but two readers created full-color overhead mockups of alternative ways to design this awkward interchange.

The first, by reader sean, is a sort of linear park that would remove auto access for one block (immediately south of what is today a billboard) in order to reimagine “Ankeny as a destination”:

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Comment of the Week: A pro-bike case for the Portland that was

Friday, March 20th, 2015
Sprockettes at 2008 Tour de Fat-40.jpg
The Sprockettes perform at the 2008 Tour de Fat.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Total comments this week: 883

We can see change happening. We can accept that change has to happen. We can even appreciate parts of it.

But that doesn’t always make change feel good, and it doesn’t mean that change is good.

Responding to other readers’ pro-housing-supply comments beneath Tuesday’s post about low-impact infill projects, BikePortland reader rachel b (who is, according to other posts, a Portlander since childhood) shared a take on the city’s development that was deeply personal, charmingly self-deprecating and a little bit heartbreaking, too.

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Comment of the Week: Bicycling and the future ‘Golden Age’ of Portland

Friday, March 13th, 2015
Cherry blossoms in Waterfront Park-18-17
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

“In a city where two-thirds of people surveyed support safer bike routes, we aren’t falling behind because of opposition, we are falling behind due to a failure to execute.”

Reading my share of the hundreds of terrific comments here over the last week, I’ve noticed a few assuming that because someone is advocating for biking improvements, it must be because those improvements would directly improve their own lives.

It’s hard to dispute that most of us here are motivated in part by self-interest. But this afternoon, reader Chris Anderson made an eloquent case for two big ideas:

  • that bicycling investments are and should be popular because making bicycling fully mainstream actually has the potential to help create a generations-long era of success and prosperity here in Portland for riders and nonriders alike.
  • that bicycling basically doesn’t have any organized enemies to speak of.

It’s a bold couple of claims, but I was inspired. See what you think.

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Comment of the Week: The hidden political cost of neighborhood greenways

Friday, March 6th, 2015
Eleni rides home alone-7
Michigan Avenue in North Portland.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

In the parts of Portland where neighborhood greenways exist, they’re the most pleasant way to get around. Installing them is cheap, fast and politically popular because (other than the occasional traffic diverter) they basically bother nobody.

After its biking advocates spent much of the 2000s trying and failing to build meaningful networks of protected bike lanes on commercial streets, Portland rolled out 40 miles of comfortable connected neighborhood greenways and (as we shared in Monday’s roundup) rightly earned them a spot among Streetfilms’ 10 global best practices for street design.

But, as reader CarsAreFunToo showed in a comment on Thursday’s post about speed enforcement on high-crash corridors, they also seem to come with a big indirect political cost.

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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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