Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Oregon House candidate refers to bike lanes as “fringe things”

Posted by on September 18th, 2014 at 10:26 am

goss

Kathy Goss
(Photo: Kathy Goss for Oregon/Facebook)

Should the Oregon Department of Transportation stop paying its staff to work on bike lanes and trails in order to save money? That’s what Kathy Goss, a candidate running for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives, thinks.

During a debate with her challenger Paul Evans (Democrat) last week, Goss, a Republican, expressed that idea during a discussion about how ODOT might trim its human resources budget. Her comments were reported by the Salem-based Statesman Journal. Here’s an excerpt from their article published September 5th:

When asked whether they would support using outsourcing and other means to reduce the number of employees at the Department of Transportation, Goss said she would go a step farther.

“I would reduce the amount of bicycle lanes and the amount of trails we are taking care of,” Goss said. “The state of Oregon is still in a recession. We don’t need the fringe things right now, and we don’t need the public employees to do them.”

Referring to infrastructure used for bicycling as “fringe” might seem like a, well, fringe idea to many of you, but in House District 20, where Goss and Evans are hoping to rally support, it might actually play well. The district covers the rural cities of Monmouth (Oregon’s last “dry” town where alchohol sales were prohibited up until 2002) and Independence west of Salem. It’s what political watchers call a “swing district” and it “definitely leans Republican” a source told us.

HD-20’s outgoing representative, Republican Vicki Berger, won 63% of the vote in 2012. In that same year, Barack Obama won just 50.6% of the vote (to Romney’s 46.2%). The Oregonian calls the Evans-Goss race a tossup.

Just a few days after this debate with Evans, Goss backed out of all future debates, telling the Statesman Journal that she felt Evans’ supporters in the audience were “loud and disrespectful” and that Evans himself was “condescending.”

We’ve contacted Goss and her campaign for comment but we haven’t heard back.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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

75
Leave a Reply

avatar
21 Comment threads
54 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
34 Comment authors
tacomawsbobEl Biciclero9wattsRobert Burchett Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Dave
Guest
Dave

She hates our country! Everytime someone uses a bike for transportation they are depriving Islamofascist oil drillers of money–this dumb dame obviously wants to help finance ISIS!

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Monmouth and West Salem? Not surprised. She probably has a hobby farm and milks uncle Sam for tax breaks and crop subsidies.

Kenji
Guest

Just a FYI- the mayors of Independence and Monmouth are very bike-friendly. I ran into them at the Polk County Rural Tourism Studio put on my Travel Oregon yesterday. Curt Fisher wrote a letter to the editor on the subject that appeared in today’s SJ. I also live in West Salem (part of the district) and was disappointed in Kathy’s comments. I’ll be following up on this for sure.

IanC
Guest
IanC

I grew up in Monmouth and grew up knowing Paul Evans (maybe 4 years ahead of me in school). He was one of the youngest candidates for Mayor, just out of high school I think… and he was a Republican back then! He’s very smart and politically savvy and I’m glad he’s a Dem now.

Monmouth/Independence is actually quite geographically isolated with nearly nonexistant public transportation. Biking is definitely seen as a fringe, recreational activity. This is unfortunate not only because people there need enhanced transportation options, but because the area is becoming part of Oregon’s growing wine region. It’s ripe to become a great bike tourism destination, if forward-thinking politicos could see that.

Last of the Mohicans
Guest
Last of the Mohicans

This is the type of antiquated thinking that needs not to represent the people. Last time I looked more and more people are riding due to the recession, vehicle maintenance costs being one of the key drivers.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

A great ‘statesman once said, ”What we have here is a failure to communicate…”

…so what she may have been trying to say is those bike lane [thingeys] are [on] the fringe [of the roadway]… , not.

pabstslut
Guest
pabstslut

FWIW, Bike MS has based their ride out of Monmouth in the past (not sure about this year) and I’m sure that brought a lot of dollars to the community. There also seems to be quite a bit of recreational road riding going on in the countryside between Independence and Salem, not to mention I believe Independence is on (or at least not far off) the Willamette Valley Scenic Bike Route.

Rob Chapman
Guest
Rob Chapman

I always wonder if these bike lane haters realize that without them my ass would be taking the lane in places like northbound N Interstate, up the hill, at 5 mph, daily.

Cheif
Guest
Cheif

People who will have lived the majority of their lives in the 20th century have no place deciding policy for those of us who will be spending the majority of ours in the 21st.

Ted L
Guest
Ted L

These are exactly the swing districts we need to be strategic about. Who wants to join me and pledge $100 to Evans!? How much can we boost his prospects and campaign coffers in response to this?

Ted L
Guest
Ted L

Just pledged my $100 to Evans. Who else is going to join me?
https://paulevans.nationbuilder.com/donate

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

Clearly, Ms. Goss has never tried to ride the bike lanes in Tigard on Hall and Upper Boones Ferry Rd.

ODOT only schedules to sweep the bike lanes out here once a year. Meanwhile, I’m out there with my broom trying to keep the worst of the glass from overwhelming the bike lane, and the rest of the time taking the lane instead of riding in the bike lane.

I have a better idea for Ms. Goss and ODOT: turn clean-up sweeping duties of these streets over to the cities they run through. Road users through here will be happier in the long run.

TonyT
Guest
TonyT

Fringe things like getting around town safely.

scott
Guest
scott

Sally Kathy Gossphael.

Suburban
Guest
Suburban

Feather the brakes y’all. We whack-jobs deserve to be heard out . Projecting an ideology upon someone for an isolated quote is lazy consumption of journalism.

Sal
Guest
Sal

Fringe? Check out this article about this same comment:

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/opinion/readers/2014/09/18/bicycles-provide-significant-roi/15856025/

Cyclists have a huge impact on Oregon’s economy. I live in Salem and I heard Evans speak about the local economy recently. He actually said that we need to nurture our bicycle infrastructure to encourage tourism through our booming wine industry. The valley also produces some pretty great beer, cheese, nuts, etc – so I think this guy has the right idea to get people riding through and spending their cash.

Goss really lost me on this one.

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

But I like Kathy’s fashion sense: red frames with red dress.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I emailed Goss through her website pointing out all the reasons why bike lanes are an absolute necessity. So far I haven’t had a response.

Pete
Guest
Pete

There are folks who believe there’s a mythical, magical pot of money – I’ve seen it referred to in many comments online – that would allow balanced budgets everywhere, leading to peace, harmony, and persistent double-digit economic growth. It’s called Waste, and it exists in the budgets of those spending money on things that don’t resonate with your own line of thinking.

Just think, if people stopped riding all those bicycles on the roadways, that multi-billion-dollar Federal Highway Trust Fund deficit would disappear and we could finally go back to the days of $2/gallon gasoline. Cuz, you know, gas tax and all that…

gutterbunnybikes
Guest
gutterbunnybikes

I’d think ODOT would save more money if they just abolished motorized vehicles from the state. Clearly the bulk of the transportation budget is focus on highways and streets for the use of motorized vehicles.

Just think of the savings then.

Marshall Guthrie
Guest

My name is Marshall Guthrie. I am a city councilor for Monmouth, OR. I bike 7 days per week, and ride in a car less than 1 day per week. I would be very happy to hear from any concerned Monmouth citizens at government@marshallguthrie.com . I would also appreciate your support as I run for reelection this November.

In solidarity,
Marshall