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The Oregonian’s stance on bicycling (My opinion on their opinion)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

The Oregonian Editorial Board weighed in on the state of bicycling in Portland today. The editorial appeared on the same week that PBOT released its annual bike counts showing a 6.4% increase between 2010 and 2011.

Whenever our state’s newspaper of record devotes major opinion space to bicycling, it’s worth noting. Regardless of what you think about The Oregonian, the fact remains they own an influential voice that helps frame the conversation. In Biking the path to urban health, The O’s Editorial Board seems to give a big thumbs up to bicycling in general, but when you look more closely, their opinion isn’t quite as clear.
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The Oregonian strikes again: And it’s not just about the numbers

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Last night, The Oregonian’s commuting reporter and columnist Joseph Rose published an article about Portland Mayor Sam Adams’ budget decisions. The article, Portland Mayor Sam Adams boosts funding for bike projects, but now there’s less for paving streets, attempts to make the point that Adams’ decision to allocate a larger percentage of discretionary revenue to “bike projects” comes at the expense of “motor vehicle projects.”

Not surprisingly, the article has spurred hundreds of comments, many of them by angry Portlanders who don’t like the idea of any spending that benefits bicycling and who feel Adams’ priorities are not in the right place.

Seem like a déjà vu? Unfortunately, it’s not out of character for him or for The Oregonian to frame a bike news story in a way that makes readers take sides. Whether it’s referring to a “cold war” on our streets and warning of an impending “backlash” against people who ride bikes, dropping an inaccurate and biased story on the Idaho Stop proposal the day before it was heard by legislators, or sensationalizing road rage to sell papers (which they later admitted to) — we’ve seen this happen time and time again. (more…)

The Oregonian: “Massive therapeutic intervention” needed to make roads safer for all

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

The Oregonian Editorial Board published a timely piece in today’s paper about the need for all of us who drive to take stock of our actions and do a better job looking out for people walking and biking on our roads. Here’s the opening:

Hey, you.

You need to have a “full and frank” conversation with yourself this evening. Looking in the mirror, you the driver ought to give you the walker a piece of your mind, and then switch roles.

Quite simply, both of you — and all of us — need to do a better job of paying attention. This year is shaping up as a terrible one for Oregon pedestrians.

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Oregonian guest opinion piece: Bikes are the newest “must-have fashion accessory”

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Cirque du Cycling-20.jpg
An “ultra-hip bike culture effete”
and her fashion accessory.
(Photo © J. Maus)

I noticed an interesting opinion piece in The Oregonian this morning that claims that the “newest local outdoor must-have fashion accessory” is the “walked bicycle.”

In the article, author/journalist/bike commuter Lawrence J. Maushard of Southeast Portland, seems almost perturbed by the number of people who walk with their bikes on our city’s sidewalks. I’m not sure why good looking people walking bikes causes so much consternation with Mr. Maushard (does he dislike eco-conscious people? is he just a hipster hater?), but it makes for an interesting read:

Here’s an excerpt: (more…)

Portland Police get criticism for handling of bike light case

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
Oregonian columnist
Steve Duin.

Oregonian columnist Steve Duin has published pointed criticisms directed at the Portland Police Bureau’s handling of the Freedom Child bike light case in his column today.

Freedom Child is the 57-year old St. Johns woman who was involved with an altercation with two Police officers back in 2003. Child claims she was walking her bike down the sidewalk when Officers Jeffrey Dorn and Jason Harris reportedly pulled up alongside her in an unmarked car and began questioning her. Those questions ultimately led to Child being followed and then, according to Duin, “dragged…out of her home” and then arrested. (more…)

Local media releases hounds on Idaho Stop law

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

“And you’re scratching your head wondering when was the last time you saw one actually stop.”
– Harry Esteve, The Oregonian

It’s the BTA’s worst nightmare.

They’ve spent months preparing for the smooth passage of the Idaho Stop Law (the proposed bill, HB 2690, would allow bicycle operators to enter a stop-sign controlled intersection without stopping when safe, and once they’ve yielded to all other traffic). Members of their legislative committee have traveled to Idaho to speak with transportation planners and law enforcement officials about the law (which has been on the books there since the 1980s without incident). The BTA’s legislative team has also spent countless hours working the Salem offices of our state legislators answering their questions and clearing up their confusions about the proposed law.

Then, in one fell swoop, the largest media outlet in the entire state can pen a story that pans the idea — and it’s not even on the editorial page. (more…)

Oregonian launches new commuting blog

Monday, December 1st, 2008
Joseph Rose

The Oregonian (and many other newspapers) might be in the midst of major newsroom shrinkage and other changes to its print edition, but that hasn’t stopped them from launching a new blog about “the culture of the commute”.

The “Hard Drive” blog officially launched today and will be written by Oregonian staff reporter Joseph Rose. Rose told me he’ll cover everything from TriMet to bike lanes. “Slap a “Share the Road” sticker on my forehead,” he wrote in an email about his new endeavor, “I want to be at the center of the whole bike-car-bus-walk-light rail continuum.” (more…)

Oregonian reporter conquers commuting fears

Friday, September 26th, 2008

“Not knowing what I was in for created a lot of mental room for scenarios of death and disfigurement. So far, the worst thing that’s happened is when my chain popped off on Interstate Avenue.”
– Shelby Wood

Remember Shelby Wood, the Oregonian columnist who was “too scared to saddle up” and ride her bike in Portland?

Wood, who writes the PDXGreen column, said her fears about biking were representative of many Portlanders in the “thick, nervous mainstream”. When I shared her story back in May it sparked over 140 comments, including one from Ms. Green.

She wrote, (more…)

tOregonian says “bike culture isn’t partisan”

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

The front page of today’s Metro section of the Oregonian has perhaps one of my favorite headlines ever; “In Oregon, bike culture isn’t partisan.”

The story, by the O’s Salem staffer Harry Esteve, is about how Republican Senator Jason Atkinson is behind a bill that would re-word existing bicycle equipment requirements to exclude fixed-gear bicycles from requiring a separate brake.
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