Friday Cartoon: Don’t Let It Sit

Posted by on February 12th, 2010 at 9:39 am

– Illustration by Mark Markovich
– Concept by Jonathan Maus
– Related story: Bike Plan passes with unanimous support and a $20 million commitment
– See past cartoons here.

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

15 Comments
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    Michael M. February 12, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Nice, though I kind of imagine Portland’s many ambitious plans being adopted, then stored in a vast warehouse akin to that depicted at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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    Joe February 12, 2010 at 10:24 am

    hahaha!

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    Carl February 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Is this really what bikeportland thinks happened yesterday?

    I’m having a hard time understanding how this cartoon is in touch with reality.

    Maybe it’d make sense months from now when this funding source goes POOF and things don’t seem to be going anywhere, but today? Just seems pessimistic and paranoid.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) February 12, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Carl wrote:

    “Is this really what bikeportland thinks happened yesterday?”

    Absolutely not. Have you read any of my other coverage?

    I’m having a hard time understanding how this cartoon is in touch with reality.

    I did this cartoon in part to remind folks that if the community wants the 2030 plan to actually happen, we must remain vigilant and make sure our electeds and PBOT staff do not forget about it.

    Not in touch with reality? With all due respect to the 1996 bike plan, do you have any idea how much of it has been funded and/or completed? Not much.

    “Maybe it’d make sense months from now when this funding source goes POOF and things don’t seem to be going anywhere, but today? Just seems pessimistic and paranoid.”

    That’s a fine opinion and I respect that.

    The “funding source”? Well, it can’t actually go “poof” because it doesn’t exist yet (council didn’t pass it and the details are still being worked out).

    As for it being “pessimistic and paranoid”… No. Those words don’t match my feelings in coming up with this concept.

    thanks for the feedback.

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    jocko February 12, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Plain and simple: controversy generates readership, sparks discussion and (if that discussion does not stoop to petty finger pointing or wanton mean-spirited-ness) creates consensus.

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    Steve Hoyt-McBeth February 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Jonathan,

    I agree w/ Carl’s critique.

    I think the illustration and its sentinment belies the fact that Council is poised to invest $20 million into implementing the plan. That is a HUGE one-time investment compared to what we’ve done to date.

    I don’t disagree with your explanation that the bike community needs to continue to advocate for building the plan, but I think the illustration doesn’t do a good job of conveying that.

    This is a time to rejoice. Twenty million is real money. It’s an impressive demonstration of Council’s committment in the face of two weeks of media coverage questioning the plan’s ambition and cost.

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      Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) February 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm

      Steve,

      I am rejoicing! Why does ever single thing I write on this site have to be about cheerleading for “the cause?!” I have a lot of ideas/feelings/thoughts, etc… based on spending a lot of time thinking about bike issues in this city and I think expressing a range of those thoughts should be palatable to everyone.

      I understand folks might not like the timing of this. That’s a fair opinion, and trust me, I had a feeling it would be interpreted like this. That’s all fine and good. It’s just part of the mix.

      As for your comment that “this is real money”. So far, I disagree. Call me crabby or pessimistic or whatever you want, but Council has not passed anything and it’s still not clear where the money would come from. Also, it’s $2M over 10 years, not a sudden injection of $20M.

      Sam has made us all a promise. that is all. What’s wrong with not counting our chickens before they hatch?

      As publisher of a news site I feel like it’s my duty to be a bit more skeptical about things than the average advocate or PBOT staffer.

      By the way, I had a great conversation with a local activist today about starting to plan a big event to say thank you to all the PBOT staff for their work on the plan. Stay tuned for details. I hope you all can come…. there will be a lot of rejoicing!

      p.s. one last thing… perhaps my characterization of “not much” being done in terms of the 1996 plan was too harsh. I realize that plan has served the city well… my point was that only small % of projects it envisioned have become reality.

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    Jackattak February 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Jonathan –

    I may have to agree with the others who have found this comic’s content a bit disagreeable (utmost respect to you and Mr. Young, as always).

    I realize “it’s just a cartoon” so I don’t take it too much to heart, but I definitely agree with Mr. Hoyt-McBeth above that this should be a time of celebration, not of “staring the gift horse in the mouth”, as the saying goes.

    We got more than we expected yesterday with the $20M commitment and yet I see a lot of sentiment on the BP boards (which I realize are not you) that many are still not “happy”. That begs me to ask if some of our brethren ever will be.

    That remains to me seen.

    Please take this only as a constructive criticism, as I love this site and all you do as a collective.

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    Steve B. February 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I support Jonathan’s spirit here. We must remain vigilant.

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    AaronF February 12, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I support the spirit here as well.

    The “Built it” cartoon last week was on the other end of the spectrum, so I think this balances it out (to my satisfaction at least).

    Hopefully City Council and PBOT already know that Maus has nothing but love for what they’ve done so far, and in that context I don’t see this as biting the hand that feeds, although there is certainly room for that interpretation.

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    Jackattak February 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Jonathan –

    Also, it’s $2M over 10 years, not a sudden injection of $20M.

    I didn’t know that, and it puts a lot of your feelings on the funding into perspective.

    Thanks for the information and explanation.

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    Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie February 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I think the cartoon is fine – your site shouldn’t be a one trick pony – and it’s not – it cajoles, cheerleaders, shines a light, reports the facts, offers opinions, goes back to subjects and looks at them from different angles and at different times in the debates… in short it’s a bike site but you keep trying to be rounded and, acknowledge criticism roll it around and continue to evolve as a journalist – so runs the cartoons you want – “no apologies, no regrets” – Dick Chenney taught the world that…. and how to improperly discharge a firearm.

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    wsbob February 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    It might be o.k. if there was something about the guy shelving suggesting he had some doubts about what he was doing. His gesture though, suggests that once he gets through grimacing to shove the heavy tome up on the shelf…it’s over.

    I suppose the caption is supposed to counter the deep-six, but up there on top of the cartoon instead of underneath it where I’m used to seeing them breaks the connection for me.

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    Greg Raisman February 12, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    To clear things up a little (I hope)….

    My understanding is that the general idea is to bond $2 million a year for an approximate 10 year period. This would result in an immediate influx of $20 million that would be implemented over the next 24 months.

    What is bonding?

    Basically, if there is an ongoing revenue stream, a government body can go to banks to “bond against” that revenue stream. It’s basically how cities (and other governments) take out loans.

    So, if there’s a $2 million ongoing stream, the city can go to banks and get the larger sum up front. The bond (like a loan) is then paid off with the ongoing revenue stream. Bonds carry lower interest rates than loans.

    That’s the basics as I understand it. It will be interesting for all of us to watch the details unfold as the Mayor leads the charge to secure a significant and immediate funding source.

    Thanks.
    Greg Raisman
    Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership
    Portland Bureau of Transportation

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    Red Five February 12, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    I dunno, he’s not wearing a helmet.

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