Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Weekend Open Thread

Posted by on August 5th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Riding into the sunset on the Broadway Bridge.
(Photo © J. Maus)

It’s been yet another big week here at BikePortland. We’ve tackled complex and tragic stories and I thank everyone for contributing to the conversation.

I need a weekend to refresh my brain. I hope to get my share of this great sunshine and enjoy some time with my family. How about you?

Use this post to share your thoughts about the past week, random inspirations, weekend plans, whatever. Oh, and I’d love to know what you think about the new “like” and “dislike” buttons in the comments.

See you on Monday.

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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. Thank you.

  • matheas michaels August 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I think it’s super funky

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  • John Russell (jr98664) August 5, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I like the “like” buttons.

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  • Joe C August 5, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I think having a “like” button is good (equivalent to a “+1” in reply), but I think having a “dislike” prevents good discussion and dialogue from occurring. If someone disagrees or takes issue with a comment, they should weigh in with their thoughts rather than spamming a “thumbs down” on it. Is there a way to include one without the other?

    As far as the past (particularly dangerous) week goes, I feel it’s proof we need to reexamine the way our built environments influence our behaviors; in terms of inspiration, BikePortland is a great resource for me as a pedestrian advocate looking to do the same kind of work that you, Jonathan, have done for biking in PDX. So thanks for all that you do, enjoy the time spent with your fam and I look forward to next week’s coverage!

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    • Joe C August 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      Haha. The “-1” on my comment is a good example of why the current system is lacking. Hey, hater, why not weigh in on why you disagreed, rather than just passively clicking the thumbs-down?

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      • Champs August 6, 2011 at 1:12 am

        Besides agreeing with you, there are tons of dislikes that don’t make any sense. In the article about hit-and-run, I asked a simple question: what should someone do if it happens to them? Get a police report, sure. Get treated, obviously. But how do my bills get paid?

        At last count, the comment got three likes and TWO dislikes. It’s not that I’m keeping score, I would just love to know what the objection is.

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      • Champs August 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm

        … or like others, you could make the same point by being cheeky and downvoting everything.

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    • A.K. August 6, 2011 at 8:00 am

      I think that if you want to leave a -1, you should be forced to submit a comment at the same time.

      I mostly think people are doing it to be funny, but it is a little silly to see a totally rational or legitimate comment have a number of negative marks.

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      • Joe C August 6, 2011 at 9:02 am

        Yeah, it’s probably some ragin’ cager linked to BikePortland from the O who just spams thumbs down on every comment, regardless of content… Maybe that MunchausenBaron guy who got banned once for overusing the term “Bike Nazi.”

        “…Must… dislike… all scofflaw cyclists… Must… crush… dialogue…”

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    • noah August 6, 2011 at 10:38 am

      I guess I agree. A “dislike” button needs to come with some kind of privilege of accountability mechanism, such as registration. But I think it is always justified to “dislike” a comment that’s a complaint about being “disliked”. 😉

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      • Esther August 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm


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    • Spiffy August 8, 2011 at 7:59 am

      see here’s one of the problems… I want to dislike the first paragraph of your comment, but I want to like the second one… I can’t do both, but I can do neither… (:

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      • Esther August 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

        When Bikeportland becomes Shrodinger’s Cat…

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  • captainkarma August 6, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Don’t “like” em. Seems rather binary. Divisive even. Unless of course that’s the goal, like a certain local newspaper. Perish the thought. I guess I don’t see the value added.
    Anyway, everybody have a good weekend, make every day count! On many levels.

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  • John Lascurettes August 6, 2011 at 12:56 am

    I think the like/dislike need:
    * A more subtle treatment (I keep reading them at the end of everyone’s post
    * To not be included in quoted replies.

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  • dmc August 6, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Perhaps just a ‘like’ only button?

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  • Monica August 6, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Jonathan, When I read the tragic stories from this week, I realized how much I have learned from BikePortland. A friend introduced me to your site 3 years ago when I was a brand-new rider. I am now a car-free, year-round daily commuter, demonstrating that this IS possible when you work full-time and have a child (with the help of an occasional Zipcar). Your work has made both of us much safer because we are more aware of and able to anticipate careless auto maneuvers. Thank you for this site and your advocacy for safe and fun riding for all of us.

    Recommended Thumb up 23

  • michweek August 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Rubiks Cube ride tonight, 10pm at Irving park. See ya there?!

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  • Jene-Paul August 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm


    Agree with folks suggesting some sort of comment requirement be attached to the use of “Like or Dislike” buttons, if yer gonna retain ’em.

    The wonderful function of the comments on BP as both an evolution of the news you & yer crew post and as an opportunity for expression to yer readers seems diminished by uncommented, anonymous mob data (which can be gamed by any dedicated fruit-loop!). It short-cuts the dialog process as hazardously as a badly chosen outlaw trail that erodes the woods.

    Comments here aren’t much different from hopping up on a soapbox on the town commons – everyone interested enough to be here and listen will get a piece of someone’s mind and can debate or support according to their own lights. That privilege is one part of a living, breathing community.

    To carry the analogy to a bit of an extreme, the mechanism of shouting people down is often a desperate weapon of protest under oppression. Nobody posting a comment on BP has the power to oppress any grown-ups with their posts. If some continuously offensive bone-head keeps posting utter crap, the specific response of commenters seems to tend to weed ’em out or at least cause ’em to throttle the hate back if they don’t just up and move on to a more receptive blog.

    The anonymous power to applaud or reject a post’s message is not constructive beyond causing the persons doing the “liking” or “disliking” to feel empowered without having to actually contribute to the discussion. This results in a loss of open dialog and possible expanded understanding of any given issue, both of which might occur were the like/dislike-r to explain why they made their particular call.

    The reason we have representative democracy instead of direct democracy is more about how whackedly out-of-control emotions can get when discussing many subjects and more about accountability than because of the ease of participation on the part of the participants. Not everything that is posted is a challenge requiring judgement on the poster: thus the yea or nay thing can easily become inscrutable to both poster and subsequent reader anyway.

    I know that one can’t swing a cat on the internet without encountering these cute buttons on social sites but I question whether that adds anything to the usually objective thing you have going here. Yeah, I expect to get thumbed down for this (what a boring world if everyone thought just like me or you!), but hopefully some thumbers will explain themselves.

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  • scoot August 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I keep trying not to look at the like/dislike buttons because they’re obviously being clicked randomly (or specifically, without any legitimate reason), but they’re so visually noisy, my eyeballs are drawn to them… I dislike them.

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  • Jene-Paul August 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Oh, yeah, Jonathan:

    Wanted to complement you on the beautiful current banner pic – you got a lot of Portland in there . Kid in a helmet, woman in a skirt on a dynamo-lit Dutch bike, a recumbent with an e-assist, the aged MTB, the tattooed leg on an ancient fendered ten-speed frame – and all in motion! Too bad you had to crop out the tall bike, cargo/longtail, high-zoot unobtanium-framed racer and the fixie to fit the composition. I really enjoy the banner shots you use.

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  • Martin August 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I rode across the Hawthorne bridge today and noticed it was closed to all cars. They had some festival going on in the middle that looked interesting but when I tried to walk in some guy looked at me like I was trying to steal something from him. Apparently you need to pay to get in. Kind of ironic that they close the public right of way to cars and then try to charge people to walk on it.

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    • matheas michaels August 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      it was the donut picnic thing. costed 25 dollars to get in because voodoo broke the donut record I read. I wanted to go but for 25 dollars I’d rather get some new spoke lights or something

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      • A.K. August 7, 2011 at 11:20 pm

        Yeah there are plenty of parks you can utilize without spending $25…!

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    • Chris I August 8, 2011 at 7:57 am

      The bridge was still closed at 5pm, which seemed odd to me. Makes getting out to Beaverton hard when we have the Fremont closed, the Morrison closed, and the Hawthorne closed.

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  • Suburban August 6, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Grand and NE Broadway 4pm Friday: I came upon a male cyclist bleeding from his head and damaged hand , many cars stopped, EMTs helping out (yay engine 13). He was lucid but hurtin for certain. Anyone know how he is doing?

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    • Hart Noecker August 7, 2011 at 12:43 am

      I saw this too, up close, but could not get any info. Hope he’s doing well, as he sounded like he was in much pain.

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  • Hart Noecker August 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Anybody know what went down on the floating portion of the esplanade this afternoon that required a police car and fire department presence while shouting at bystanders to stay back from a handcuffed man face down in a pool of blood?

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • jim August 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I keep coming back to the bridge picture. I dabbled a little in photography years back and have learned to appreciate good work. This is definitely good work.
    I am liking the buttons. I am curious to see peoples reactions to my comments. Are they as bad as the editor thinks they are? I do sometimes take a more conservative look at issues than some readers, which is not always popular. Dosent make me evil or anything, just a different outlook. Some of you might even automatically give me a thumbs down without ever reading what I wrote. I hope people like what I say, but if they don’t I like to hear why also.
    There have been some radical posters here before that I didnt agree with however I did like to read what they posted.

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    • noah August 7, 2011 at 1:25 am

      Are you Jim Karlock?

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      • Chris I August 7, 2011 at 8:52 am

        I think Jim Karlock would use this open thread to rant about the “money wasted on bikes”. If it is, we must have caught him on a good day.

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    • Hugh Johnson August 7, 2011 at 7:18 am

      Jim, don’t let the radicals and forum bullies here scare you off. I’m more of a lurker myself, but love the stories and information on this site. Expecting many thumbs down. ; )

      Ride safe.

      Recommended Thumb up 6

    • Alan 1.0 August 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      Jim, sometimes your one-liner posts seem to taunt or ridicule other opinions without substantively explaining your own take on the issue. When you put as much effort and skill into explaining yourself as you did in this thread, then I find much more reason to consider your words, whether or not I agree with them. I don’t think it’s a stretch to guess that more and better explanations would appeal to the editor (Jonathon), too, and you aren’t the only regular poster here who might seem less trollish if they better elucidated their opinion.

      The like/dislike buttons…take ’em or leave ’em. Seems the dislike is being mis-/over-used, and early on some posts got suppressed by it, but that feature seems to have been turned off. I do prefer folks clicking “like” to posts of “+1” (tho dmc managed some good humor with a “-2” post). I suspect that their utility might improve over time as the novelty wears off. The “Liked by…” style on Yehudamoon is sort of nice but the JSKit software has some other glitches.

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  • kittens August 7, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Late last night I saw a fresh down cyclist at the intersection of Lovejoy and 9th, that damn intersection with all the tracks and traffic. He looked unconscious: closed eyes, not moving, bike laying beside him. People were rushing to assit before I could get to him. First responders were almost on scene. Might have been a car impact or wheel in track. Don’t know. Helmet: yes.

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  • Mindful Cyclist August 7, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I do like the like/dislike thing for the most part. I agree with a lot of people that if one hits the dislike, one should leave a comment about why they disagree. And, I think having a like button makes it look better than people just adding “+1” after a comment.

    I am going to try to reserve the dislike button for people that I really do not think are doing anything but trying to stir the pot or just making off-topic comments.

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  • matheas michaels August 7, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I think that if you want to leave a -1, you should be forced to submit a comment at the same time.
    I mostly think people are doing it to be funny, but it is a little silly to see a totally rational or legitimate comment have a number of negative marks.
    Like or Dislike: 4  5

    @August, you hit it on the nose

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  • Lynne F August 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I rode my bike from Seattle to Vancouver BC.
    No opinion on the voting buttons.

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  • Noel T August 8, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Seriously, who care about like and dislike button? If someone doesn’t like your post and “dislike it” or does it for fun, who cares? Man up!

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  • Spiffy August 8, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I live the voting button, but think there should be some kind of separator (an HR tag maybe?)…

    and yes, there are definitely people going through and voting -1 on everything regardless of content… is there any way to catch these people are run them through an extra human-checker or something?

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  • Spiffy August 8, 2011 at 8:07 am

    as for biking, I only biked Friday night into early Saturday morning… then I had the kid and we took transit everywhere we didn’t walk… but he did ride his balance bike while I hung drywall with a friend on Saturday…

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  • thefuture August 8, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Road to Pickathon on Sunday. Mainly eastside esplanade to springwater trail which meant 75% of the ride was on dedicated paths.

    Different story once off the trail and on the stretch of non-shoulder roads in Happy Valley to get to the festival. Lots of people (mostly on the way to church along one of the roads) passing within what felt like inches or as I like to call it ‘teach you a lesson distance’ at high speed.

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    • thefuture August 8, 2011 at 8:16 am

      Rode to, not Road to of course.

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  • Jerry_W August 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

    dislike the buttons, seems that it will discourage participation in many discussions here. Distracts from the message with a popularity contest.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 8, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Thanks everyone for the feedback on the like/dislike buttons. I share many of your concerns and will consider further modifications of them or simply getting rid of them altogether. Keep the feedback coming. Thanks.

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  • Perry Hunter August 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Clearly, there is at least one troll out there who is getting their jollies by “disliking” as much as they can.

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    • dmc August 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      lol, yep.

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  • dirt_merchant August 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I don’t like the buttons- it adds another layer of visual clutter, and I don’t think it adds value. If I have a comment, I’ll make it. I don’t need to comment on a comment, and have someone else comment on my comment of a comment.

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  • eli bishop August 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    i look at the like/dislike as nonverbal gestures if we were talking in a group: a “like” is a nod of approval, while “dislike” is someone shaking their head and maybe frowning. not everyone in a group needs to say something. i doubt the dislike buttons are really keeping people who have a negative opinion from saying something. and gentle applause is better than a post containing “+1” or “this!”.

    however, i do wish the buttons were not green & red because it makes them so visually distracting.

    now that you’ve added “Like or Dislike (please consider explaining the reason for your vote):”, that adds even MORE distraction, sometimes making the whole thing weighted more than the actual comment.

    so i like the concept, but wish it were WAY more subtle.

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  • Kristen August 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I’m not a fan of the buttons, but if they are kept, I really think some of the vertical whitespace above them needs to go. That gap is too large.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    OK.. I just did some more modifications of the buttons. I’ve made the color lighter, removed the “like/dislike” and other words/text I had put in and I made the font/size smaller. Hopefully this makes them more subtle. Keep the feedback coming. I have heard more negative feedback than positive so far, but I think they look better now so we’ll see…

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    • jim August 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      I do like to get a sense of how people feel about certain comments, it makes me want to read it and see whats up?

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  • Morgan August 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I am not a fan. I feel like the tendency will be to scroll through the comments to find the one with the most dislikes for no other reason than curiosity. It is like looking at reviews on Amazon, even though it can have 300 positive reviews and only 2 bad reviews I will click on the bad reviews first to see what they had to say. I like that people have to provide verbal commentary here; it is by far one of my favorite parts of this blog and to start to dilute that with “like” “dislike” doesn’t feel nearly as interesting.

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  • Alex Reed August 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I agree with the general zeitgeist above – I think the buttons don’t add much value and do add clutter.

    If you decide to keep them, Jonathan, then may I suggest just a running tally of net positive or negative feedback like KATU and/or KGW have? Slightly less clutter. With the current system of separate thumbs up and thumbs down totals it takes my brain too long to figure out what the collective judgment on a comment is.

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  • Alex August 9, 2011 at 9:03 am

    The buttons dumb down the blog. How about a simple “Recommend” button if a button must be added. We already have enough negativity swirling around us in the form of words without the aid of an anonymous “Thumbs down”.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 9, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Thanks for all the feedback. I too don’t like what seems like random dislikes for no apparent reason… So I just did another modification… Only show the “likes” and include the word “Recommended.” Let me know what you think.

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    • dmc August 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm

      This is a HUGE improvement. The lack of the dislike button makes everything seem more positive and less divisive. We ride bikes, we need to stick together! lol.

      The soft tone of green is great! It doesn’t distract from the context of the message.

      I think the ‘Recommended’ button could definitely blossom into a very effective tool for all readers.

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