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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.

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75 Comments
  • Avatar
    Dave September 18, 2014 at 10:33 am

    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!

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      Blake September 18, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Can I nominate this for the worst comment of the week?

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    Chris I September 18, 2014 at 10:41 am

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

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      9watts September 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Hey, wait a minute. Some of us live down here. There are lots of interesting, hard working, and even progressive people here.

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    Kenji September 18, 2014 at 10:49 am

    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.

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      wsbob September 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      “Just a FYI- the mayors of Independence and Monmouth are very bike-friendly. …” Kenji

      If those mayors are friendly to biking, it stands to reason that also in those towns, there’s likely significant numbers of people that bike and, or are favorable to biking and conditions favorable to biking. If so, that would be at odds with candidate Kathy Goss’s assumption that state staff and infrastructure directed towards care of bike trails and bike lanes is expendable.

      If in large part, I suppose outside the big towns, people in HD-20 aren’t keen on biking or supporting it, Goss’s proposal may be received well. I’m thinking it would be good know more about how many and how much biking by residents of HD-20 is going on.

      Outside of the big cities, many people across the whole state are poor. Nothing new there. With some exceptions though, biking is very low cost recreation and transportation, as well as being a great potential source of tourism income.

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    IanC September 18, 2014 at 10:49 am

    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.

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    Last of the Mohicans September 18, 2014 at 10:52 am

    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.

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    Todd Boulanger September 18, 2014 at 10:59 am

    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.

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    pabstslut September 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    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.

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    Rob Chapman September 18, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    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.

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      El Biciclero September 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      This is the irony of the complaints from those who exclusively drive. They don’t seem to realize that bike infrastructure is for their benefit. I think the hope is that if roadways remain as hostile as possible to non-motorized transport, the non-motorized will just stay the heck off of them. That wish falls into the category of intimidation and bullying, really.

      The interesting thing is that in a question about the Department of Transportation, she mentions “trails”. I know in my neighborhood in Washington county, “trails” fall under the purview of the Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec District. Either she doesn’t understand what “trails” are, or was intentionally attempting to broaden the scope of which “public employees” she would consider eliminating.

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        9watts September 18, 2014 at 9:34 pm

        That was a clue, El Biciclero.

        IanC, who posted above is onto this: “Biking is definitely seen as a fringe, recreational activity.”

        I have come to realize that folks here on bikeportland have little appetite for this, but biking is still viewed outside of Portland by many as something that wealthy people in spandex do as a discretionary activity in pretty places. Of course *we* know that it is and can be much more, but the biking-as-transportation part of this is not visible or apparent to many of our fellow Oregonians. As Todd Boulanger said above, we have a communications problem here, if not the one he jokingly suggested. Muddling this distinction between biking for recreation and for transportation) serves no purpose.

        Kathy Goss may be open to learning that bicycling can be a way that her constituents actually get around, but to date I for one am not surprised that this hasn’t occurred to her. As someone living in her district these days it is hardly a face of bicycling she is likely to encounter much less comprehend.

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    Cheif September 18, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    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.

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      Granpa September 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      No you wouldn’t want people with a historical perspective or a wealth of experiential knowledge helping chart the future.

      There are some people “of a certain age” who are not small minded retrograde conservatives, just like there are some younger people who do not make over arching generalizations to define entire population groups.

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        Cheif September 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm

        These anachronistic politicians have neither historical perspective nor a wealth of knowledge, just their own short sighted fear and decades of ingrained bad habits. It’s too bad that you feel slighted by my comment due to your username-implied age, but if I were wrong you would be using your perspective and experience to work for positive change instead of making excuses for small town right wingers.

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          wsbob September 18, 2014 at 5:41 pm

          Are you seriously suggesting than people 27 years of age and younger, are the only ones that, should be “…deciding policy for those of us who will be spending the majority of ours in the 21st. …” century?

          “…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. …” bikeportland

          It’s probably can be reliably said that voters in general from that district have far more confidence in the leadership of people having spent the majority of their lives in the last century, than vice versa.

          Anyway, this is about amount of support for bike infrastructure in that district. Liberal or Conservative, young or old, there may be more support in that district, for maintaining bike lanes than Goss is aware of at present.

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          El Biciclero September 19, 2014 at 2:27 pm

          Whoa, there, Chief. Your youthful exuberance betrays you. You led out with

          “people who have lived the majority of their lives in the 20th century have no place deciding policy [for the future]”.

          “People”. Generalize much? Hard for “people” over a certain age not to feel slighted by your comment, until they consider the source, remembering when they, themselves were young and hard-headed. “People…have no place deciding policy”. Really? There’s noooothing to be learned from history? Are you forgetting that Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and many others from centuries past played a large role in determining policy for those of us who live in the 21st century? Their lessons came largely from their own knowledge of history. To dismiss out-of-hand the wisdom and experience of those who are over 30 is naive.

          Granpa then reminded you that some “people” are capable of drawing on the wisdom gained from experience while not being “small-minded, retrograde conservatives”. “People”, responding to your initial shot.

          You then, perhaps correctly, shift the focus of your initial statement to apparently narrow it from “people” down to “anachronistic politicians”. But then you inexplicably blame Granpa for “making excuses for small town right wingers”, when in fact, if any inference could possibly be drawn from Granpa’s comment it is that he considers the politician (not “person”) under discussion here to be a small-minded, retrograde conservative—that sounds like the opposite of “making excuses” for someone.

          Plus don’t forget—in the future, you’re old.

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      Pete September 18, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      At nearly half a century old I’m still the daily benefactor of courageous, persistent, forward-thinking people older than myself who fought to have bicycling legalized on roadways, physically removed signs banning pedestrians and bicyclists from shoulders of the only roads that could be used for certain routes, and to this day lead the fight for legislature protecting vulnerable road users. I’ve lived in many places throughout our country, and that’s been the case in each and every one of them, including yours.

      I’ll give you a hint… there’s a comment by one of those notable gentleman in the recent article on the waterfront safety signs, there’s a recent legal article by another here as well, and let’s not forget that guy who wears bow ties. If it wasn’t for those “deciders” of the past, you may not have even been brought up in an environment lending to your proclivity towards bicycling today, so please respect our elders.

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      Mindful Cyclist September 19, 2014 at 8:38 am

      It would help your argument if that demographic was historically not the most apathetic when it comes to going to the polls or mailing in their ballots.

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    Ted L September 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    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?

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      Paul Evans September 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Ted, If you are serious about donating to my campaign, please go to http://www.paulevans.org. You can donate on line. Thank you for your support!

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        Paul Evans September 18, 2014 at 5:21 pm

        Never mind, saw that you already donated. Thanks so much!

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      Jim L September 19, 2014 at 11:07 am

      I am in!

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    Ted L September 18, 2014 at 1:16 pm

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

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      Seth Alford September 19, 2014 at 3:05 am

      Done.

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    • Jim L
      Jim L September 19, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Done!

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    KristenT September 18, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    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.

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      CaptainKarma September 18, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      What a great idea – DUI and traffic offenders can do public service by manually sweeping shoulders and bike lanes. Amen.

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      q`Tzal September 18, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      Look at her picture… she’s probably never walked much further than valet parking. Biking would be beyond the pale.

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        wsbob September 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm

        I’d be surprised if she rides, but it’s possible she does ride. Often can’t tell just by looking at a person’s face. I’ve recently, at the Bike Beaverton ride actually, seen some people on bikes I never would have expected would ride, if I’d seen them away somewhere, wearing non bike clothes.

        She’s trying to get elected. Irrespective of their own views and ides, some people will say or do things to win the support of those they think will help get them the election.

        On the other hand, maybe Goss just isn’t a very sophisticated candidate. Doesn’t know the right and wrong things to say. Got a feeling she’s headlong into a reality check.

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          q`Tzal September 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

          Yeah, that was an unfocused insult. It really is no more her fault than a goldfish is at fault for breathing water.
          Her generation grew up in the fish bowl “car=success/no car=society leeching failure”. What’s worse for her and others of her generation and obstinacy their abject refusal to adapt or even acknowledge the effect of the Internet. I still run across older business men and women who only survive because they have an employee whose full-time job is printing and transcribing emails and webpages because “this is all just a passing fad.”

          History will swallow them whole.

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            wsbob September 19, 2014 at 3:10 pm

            I really don’t like your caustic attitude towards people of earlier generations, but do think it can be true that as they age, at some point in their lives if people haven’t learned to brave the experience of riding in traffic alongside motor vehicles, or have long ago forgotten, it can be very hard to start.

            If there’s any chance they’re going to even consider riding, these people will do better with some friendly help and encouragement. For anyone that can balance a bike, somewhere, there may be an opportunity to ride. The potential benefit to improvement of biking infrastructure everywhere, from someone not particularly suited to intense in traffic riding, is big, I think.

            Get them riding, if they enjoy it, but nevertheless still don’t feel good about themselves riding amongst traffic, the experience may have them feeling supportive of people whose bike travel needs do involve riding in traffic. As well, the personal experience of riding could have them feel far more supportive of ideas such as bike lanes protected from main lanes of the road, and cycle tracks, than they may be if the experience of riding a bike is the furthest thing from their mind.

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              q`Tzal September 20, 2014 at 12:29 am

              And I don’t like the entitled attitude of certain elderly that age and age alone gives them the right to be respected and obeyed by all.

              Respect is earned through deeds not acrued like interest on a bank account especially when some never deposited anything to start with.

              The ability to competently perform the task for which they are elected is also important and this is where I’ll proudly own my prior caustic (pH 9.5) attitude. It doesn’t matter what age someone is: if they are being willfully, intentionally ignorant I refuse to have any respect for them whatsoever. If someone has a medical reason for a mental handicap my empathy runneth over but to CHOOSE to ignore reality here and now for the imaginary perfection of the past is to prove that you have no place leading anything more complicated than a row of ducks.

              Perhaps you wish for a gerontocracy. That the elderly magically acquire knowledge and wisdom with zero effort: Rush Limbaugh and Osama bin Laden would seem to disprove this.

              What worries me most is that this candidate ACTUALLY IS perfect for the job in that she would represent a majority demographic that want to roll all progress back to the 1950’s.

              BUT you are right: an approach of positivity and politeness is key to moving forward. I acknowledge my faults and attempt to improve even if my attempts are as amusingly full of fail as The Hulk trying to do needlepoint.

              (pH 11)

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                wsbob September 20, 2014 at 11:13 am

                “And I don’t like the entitled attitude of certain elderly that age and age alone gives them the right to be respected and obeyed by all. …” q`Tzal

                Just having looked over her campaign website:

                http://kathygossfororegon.com/meet-kathy/

                …based on information posted there about her education, life and business experience, your complaint doesn’t seem to describe Goss’s attitude. Indication are, she’s quite a smart gal with years of professional experience that would have her know and understand a good bit about what people think.

                Having described bike lanes as fringe things may not have been a very politically savvy thing to say. Goss could benefit by offering additional explanation of exactly what she meant by the remark. Writing her off simply because she made such a remark, as someone assumed to be expecting respect simply because they’re ‘older’, doesn’t seem very smart.

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  • TonyT
    TonyT September 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Fringe things like getting around town safely.

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    scott September 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Sally Kathy Gossphael.

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      wsbob September 18, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Took me a while to catch that one. Hah, kind of funny. Actually though, and likely of more meaning to people that may think about voting for her, her looks may be more similar to those of Eleanor Roosevelt.

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    Suburban September 18, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    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.

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      scott September 19, 2014 at 11:57 am

      You must be new to this blog.

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    Sal September 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    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.

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      9watts September 18, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      This is a slippery slope, Sal. Setting this up (as the Statesman Journal letter writer and you and many others are wont to do) as:

      (a) bike infrastructure is fringey and a discretionary expense, and
      (b) bike infrastructure is a key element of our tourism economy

      both hue to the same semiotic frame: bicycling is a discretionary thing that rich people do in their spare time in spandex (to be succinct about it).

      This gets us nowhere in my opinion because it cedes this territory to the Kathy Gosses of the world, who have so far not been exposed to or are unwilling to learn about bicycling-as-transportation, which is where ODOT should be coming in here. A broke ODOT is not, or should not in my opinion, be about tourism but about transportation.

      We need instead to counter with:
      (c) bike infrastructure is key because the car is not the only way people get around, and by spending money on it more people can get around without a car in places they do not now. This makes things better for everyone.

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        wsbob September 18, 2014 at 10:22 pm

        “…bicycling is a discretionary thing that rich people do in their spare time in spandex (to be succinct about it). …” 9watts

        Amongst how many HD-20 voters it’s thought that bicycling is a discretionary thing, as you describe it, or even more simple and to the point, is discretionary and expendable in the face of poor economic times, is a question I hope people are asking.

        Goss apparently, as far as the thrust of this story suggests, at present, believes people will think her proposal to cut back on care of the districts’ bike lanes, will be well received, and will help get her elected.

        It’s what HD-20 voters think about Goss’s view on bikes and bike lanes, and how they respond to it, that’s important for that district.

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          9watts September 19, 2014 at 7:20 am

          “Amongst how many HD-20 voters it’s thought that bicycling is a discretionary thing, as you describe it, or even more simple and to the point, is discretionary and expendable in the face of poor economic times, is a question I hope people are asking. ”
          A good question. I’d guess a fair fraction, because out here this is the face of bicycling we mostly see. Think of it this way: if you were a daily I-5 commuter, and all you saw was cars clogging six lanes of freeway during rush hour, you might not know or register that others use their cars to go to the mountains, or impress their neighbors, to roll coal on people, to tinker on in the evenings and weekends with their buddies.

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            wsbob September 19, 2014 at 8:21 am

            Say again?

            Compared to here in the north valley Metro area, HD-20 is apparently comparatively conservative and definitely less urban. Kenji in a comment up above notes that mayors of the towns Independence and Monmouth seem to be supportive of biking. It logically follows that sizable numbers of people in those towns also may be supportive of biking.

            What about people of HD-20 outside of those towns? What’s their thought about Goss’s proposal on care of bike lanes? What percent of them consider supporting biking to be important and indispensable, even in the face of tough economic times?

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              9watts September 19, 2014 at 10:02 am

              The point, I think, wsbob, is that what you call biking, support of biking, isn’t a unified thing. It means lots of different things to different people,and while using that unqualified term may sometimes be useful, at other times it papers over distinctions that might matter. It isn’t I don’t think meaningful to ask ‘are you supportive of biking,’ without explaining what it is we’re talking about. Someone might easily see–or be persuaded that–biking-as-transportation is something ODOT should put more money toward, all the while having mixed feelings about, or being downright opposed to, ODOT spending money to encourage more people from the cities to come out here on bikes to go wine tasting or whatever.

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                wsbob September 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm

                watts, I think the meaning of the phrase ‘supportive of biking’ is fairly straightforward and likely understood by people whether they live in the states big urban centers, smaller towns, or the countryside.

                To be specific, ” bike lanes” is what Goss referred to, as quoted in this bikeportland story, and I think most people across the state likely know what a bike lane is, and whether they believe their tax dollars should be spent supporting biking by building and maintaining bike lanes, or not.

                Goss, quoted above in this bikeportland story, doesn’t suggest that bike lanes are being built and maintained, as you say in this excerpt of your remark: “…to encourage more people from the cities to come out here on bikes to go wine tasting or whatever.”. Or that she objects to taxpayer money being spent for that purpose.

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              Pete September 19, 2014 at 10:02 am

              Yes, I think some folks have the perception that conservative=Republican and Republican=anti-bike. Many, many folks I know are Republicans who are bicyclists (including a few who live in Monmouth). Many of the guys I know who fall into the “rich guys wearing spandex” crowd referred to above are staunch Republicans. I think it’s less about political leanings and more about education on the process. In previous conversations with my many right-leaning friends they simply write comments like hers off as being uneducated and therefore not a good candidate. I suspect they’d be more inclined to throw their vote away (if the opposing candidate was too ‘liberal’ for them) than they would be to vote in an uneducated candidate of their own party.

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              El Biciclero September 22, 2014 at 9:45 am

              I think the point being made by 9watts is that driving is seen as an essential privilege, bordering on a right, because people drive to “take care of business”. Nobody considers road improvements to be “recreational” in nature, even though a substantial number of the drivers you see around you every day are likely on their way to somewhere “fun”, at their discretion, to probably spend extra money they have because they are “rich”, i.e., a discretionary activity rich people do in their spare time. We don’t say drivers are out “playing with their toys”, as 9watts hints at. We don’t use some need “to attract drivers to wine country” as a reason to improve or build new roads, because it sounds trivial. We build roads because people have to get to work. So why then, when we need bike infrastructure–for people to get to work or other places–should we say “we need it ‘cuz wine country!” That sounds like a trivial, recreational rationale for something that no one is going to want spend political capital to accomplish.

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                9watts September 22, 2014 at 10:03 am

                Thank you, El Biciclero.
                As usual, you managed to make the point more elegantly. I’ll say parenthetically that this touches on a larger conversation I keep suggesting we have, but that we here at bikeportland seem none too eager to have: If we took the trouble to distinguish—compare and contrast—biking for recreation and biking as how-I-get-where-I’m-going, as a communications campaign I think we’d start to make some headway on these issues, and I think we’d all learn something.

                It is convenient to gloss over the differences, assert (implicitly) that both are equally deserving, that it shouldn’t matter why someone is on a bike here, now. But I’m afraid that, politically, we are doing ourselves a disservice by avoiding this subject *because in this country our cultural memory suggests that biking is for recreation, sport, adventure.* As such, bicycling is too often shunted into the frills, fringe, discretionary category when it comes to funding, priorities, etc. Avoiding it leads to or perpetuates a lot of misunderstanding.

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                9watts September 22, 2014 at 10:16 am

                “We don’t use some need “to attract drivers to wine country” as a reason to improve or build new roads, because it sounds trivial. ”

                And yet, ODOT is spending a large bundle of our tax dollars right now to expand the I-5 interchange at Woodburn, so even more people can go shopping, experience less of a wait at the offramps, at those Dreadful—excuse me, Premium—outlet malls. No one appears to question this, even though the recreational aspect of driving forty-five minutes each way on a freeway to buy some lacy underwear, or whatever, is arguably in some nontrivial sense recreational.

                I guess what I’m trying to say is that it cuts deeper. Cars are how grown ups get around, take care of business, accomplish their lives=serious. Bikes are something kids and people with lots of free time and money use to amuse themselves=discretionary.

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                wsbob September 22, 2014 at 11:43 am

                El Bic, with all due respect, I think what you’re suggesting is just baloney. Use of roads with motor vehicles being of a recreational, as well as work related nature, is I think, a long standing, widely recognized, inherent aspect of the culture of road use. Watts doesn’t offer anything substantial to suggest the mindset of a majority of people residing in HD-20 think any differently.

                While I don’t really know, I’m inclined to think some people there enjoy biking, and would like to see roads made better for biking. I think people reading here, would be helped by having more to read from people actually living in that district, about how they feel about people biking in their part of the state. As well as whether they think expending with construction and maintenance of bike lanes there is a good idea, as Kathy Goss has said she thinks it is.

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                9watts September 22, 2014 at 12:36 pm

                “I’m inclined to think some people there enjoy biking”

                wsbob, you seem pretty determined to argue that what we’re saying is baloney, but you just made my point. When you here talk about bicycling the verb you chose was enjoy. But that isn’t the word we tend to use when we talk about driving, and certainly not when the issue is funding priorities.

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                wsbob September 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

                9watts @ http://bikeportland.org/2014/09/18/oregon-house-candidate-refers-bike-lanes-fringe-things-111104#comment-5532787

                “…When you here talk about bicycling the verb you chose was enjoy. But that isn’t the word we tend to use when we talk about driving, and certainly not when the issue is funding priorities. …” 9watts

                I don’t know who you’re thinking “…we…”, is, but it’s surely not the motoring public over the history of the motor vehicle. Lots of driving trips are recreational, in which people find the driving experience enjoyable. With the public’s support, the state has worked to help driving be enjoyable as well as safe. Good rest stops, informational attraction and services signs, road sign turn outs, and so on. Plenty of road tours and cruise events are scheduled.

                Sure, the daily commute to and from, and in the city isn’t something people may often find they would describe as an experience they enjoy. The voting district in question though, is out in the beautiful countryside, where I expect many people enjoy driving through it, as well as for getting work done.

                People there may enjoy biking, and be interested in continuing to pay to keep the bike lanes in good condition, or maybe not. Whichever way it is, it’s Kathy Goss’s responsibility to know, if she’s going to do a good job as state rep.

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                El Biciclero September 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm

                Which is baloney, my interpretation of 9watts point, or that most people think driving=work, biking=”fun”?

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                wsbob September 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm

                El Bic at http://bikeportland.org/2014/09/18/oregon-house-candidate-refers-bike-lanes-fringe-things-111104#comment-5533056

                What’s baloney, is this notion watts and maybe you have as well, that driving isn’t something many people regard as something they do enjoy. That driving is something people just grudgingly do just to work. And that people in the district Goss is hoping to get elected from, consider biking to just be some fun thing for city slickers, and not something people from that district do themselves because they enjoy it, and or find to be a practical means of travel.

                It might be better to just let Watts speak for himself in future, if you’re worried about his viewpoint being confused with yours.

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                9watts September 22, 2014 at 7:54 pm

                “What’s baloney, is this notion watts and maybe you have as well, that driving isn’t something many people regard as something they do enjoy.”

                You’re drifting from the subject, wsbob; tilting at windmills.
                We’re not debating whether some people find driving enjoyable. We were pointing out that in our culture the one mode is coded as utilitarian while the other is coded as recreational. This is a semiotic distinction. When it comes to ODOT’s spending priorities this basic distinction matters.

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                El Biciclero September 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm

                “That driving is something people just grudgingly do just to work. And that people in the district Goss is hoping to get elected from, consider biking to just be some fun thing for city slickers…”

                This is not what I’m saying; I’ll quit trying to speak for 9watts. In fact, I’m saying the opposite. That driving is something many people enjoy, and it takes them to enjoyable destinations to have fun. But when it comes to building or improving roads, we don’t say that. The rationale for improving roads is usually “so Freight can get through”, “People have to get to work, and this congestion is making it take too long”, “All this congestion is a drag on the economy and a waste of time and money”. What we don’t say is “we need to improve this road so drivers can tour wine country”, or “all this congestion is making it hard for folks to get to the beach”, “Going for a Sunday Drive is getting to be a real headache; we should widen this road”. Reasons for making roads better for motor traffic are usually framed as necessary for business and economic health of the region, not for “recreation”, even though that is indeed, as you state, a large part of road use by motorists–including me.

                Yet when it comes to improvements of roads for bicycles, the reasons we hear are all about “touring”, “wine country”, “adventure”, “recreation”–things that aren’t economically essential and are deemed optional, “fun” things that we can certainly do without in these difficult economic times: frivolous “fringe” items.

                See the difference?

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                wsbob September 23, 2014 at 12:00 am

                El Bic: http://bikeportland.org/2014/09/18/oregon-house-candidate-refers-bike-lanes-fringe-things-111104#comment-5533834

                “…Reasons for making roads better for motor traffic are usually framed as necessary for business and economic health of the region, …” El Biciclero

                You and watts don’t seem to want to entertain the possibility that significant numbers of people in Goss’s district may think continuing to spend money on building and maintaining bike lanes, even in tough times, is wise.

                Recreational road travel is a long standing part of regional business and economic health. By bike, less so than with motor vehicles, but road use with bikes is increasingly recognized as a growing source of tourism dollars. There most likely are people in Goss’s district that think similarly. If you and watts don’t feel you can seriously consider and be open to that possibility, that’s fine with me.

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                9watts September 23, 2014 at 7:18 am

                “road use with bikes is increasingly recognized as a growing source of tourism dollars.”

                If Kathy Goss is as stubborn as you on this subject this is going to be tough.

                This whole thing got started, you may recall, because Kathy Goss felt, or appeared to express, that spending money on bike infrastructure was specifically not prudent in these times; that because the recreational sheen had not worn off bicycling (for her) ODOT should not spend money on this sort of thing.

                Rather than calling out this narrow interpretation, pointing out that bicycling is or should be viewed more expansively, you double down and insist that, no, tourism is also economically significant. Why equate bicycles with tourism—outside of Portland?! You’re so focused on winning the battle with Kathy Goss, you’re losing the war: missing the opportunity to redefine the scope of bicycling to include the non-discretionary.

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                El Biciclero September 23, 2014 at 2:39 pm

                “You and watts don’t seem to want to entertain the possibility that significant numbers of people in Goss’s district may think continuing to spend money on building and maintaining bike lanes, even in tough times, is wise.”

                OK, this is my last entry on this topic. wsbob, you are not seeing the point of what I am trying to say. Didn’t 9watts say he (I assume “he”) currently lives in this district? If so, then I’ll bet he’s “entertained” the possibility that people in that district would favor improving conditions for bicycling. I grew up in that district and used to ride there all the time. I more than entertain the possibility, I’d bet actual money on it.

                I’m not talking about what people want or who thinks anything is wise, or what would even be a good investment. I’m talking about how we make the case for roadway improvements, or perhaps more accurately, how the case has been made in the past for roadway improvements—the sales pitch, not the product. I’m talking about selling bicycling improvements to those in the district who don’t currently care about them.

                Think of someone trying to sell air purifiers. Are they going to approach a cash-conscious consumer and sell it as a way to “make the air in your house smell better”? Or would they rather pitch it as a way to make your family healthier? Would you rather spend your hard-earned cash on something to make your air smell good, or something that would make you feel better, help you live longer, and lower your healthcare costs—in other words, something that sounds like not just a good financial investment, but a way to improve your life? And oh yeah, it makes your air smell really good, too.

                When Sal suggests (long ago and far above) that the impact of bicycle touring on the economy would make a good “sales pitch”, we just have to be careful that those in control of the budget don’t think that sounds too much like merely “making the air smell better”. Invoking the “tourism” word automatically makes anything sound like a vacation rather than something critically important, like getting to work and making a living. Again, I have no doubt that some people—even some with say over transportation funding—think investing in vacations would be worthwhile, but we have to be sure that isn’t the only reason given when making the case for improving bicycling conditions.

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                wsbob September 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm

                El Bic: http://bikeportland.org/2014/09/18/oregon-house-candidate-refers-bike-lanes-fringe-things-111104#comment-5536096

                You two are so wrapped up in yourselves you can’t see straight. Goss proposal to cut back on bike lanes either has significant support in her district, or it doesn’t. She’s going to find out sooner or later, whether she has that support, and so will you.

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                tacoma September 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm

                “You two are so wrapped up in yourselves you can’t see straight.” I’m certainly an “outsider” here but to continue promoting inclusion and the free exchange of ideas, that statement certainly applies to all of us at some point.

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        Robert Burchett September 20, 2014 at 9:26 am

        For what it’s worth, that’s ‘hew’, as in ‘hew to the line’. Sort of a dated metaphor, but a person would have to have spent much of their life in another century to hear it used in a literal way.

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          9watts September 21, 2014 at 8:50 pm

          Thank you. I’ll try to remember that one. Hugh, hue, hew.

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    Jim Lee September 18, 2014 at 6:33 pm

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

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      q`Tzal September 18, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Well if being a snappy dresser isn’t a perfect reason to elect someone I don’t know what is.
      /s

      Popularity contest: 1
      Democracy: 0

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      Pete September 19, 2014 at 9:52 am

      In a blue state… 😉

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    Mike September 18, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    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.

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    Pete September 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    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…

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      Chris I September 19, 2014 at 10:11 am

      A great example of waste can be found right in her own district:
      https://www.facebook.com/no3rdbridge

      ODOT could save $400 million by cancelling this unnecessary bridge project.

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        9watts September 19, 2014 at 10:20 am

        Yes, indeed, Chris I.
        I’m an active member of the no3rdbridge group down here and have testified alongside lots of great people, to no avail. The officials plow right along, utterly ignoring the 100% opposing comments they just sat through. And will not speak to or answer questions about where this money is supposed to come from because there is no money and no appetite in Salem to pay for it, so it isn’t going to happen any more than the CRC is going to happen. But in the meantime we *are* spending huge sums to study dozens of alternatives, mostly going to CH2M Hill. Kathy Goss, could stand up and call this what it is: a huge waste and unneccessary and all that. A friend ran for City Council in Salem recently on that ticket, and narrowly lost.

        But, alas, a pro/con position on the Third Bridge, and a cheap shot at bicycle trails are viewed by most people as two completely different things. ODOT is pushing the 3rd Bridge through local elected officials, whereas the problem with ‘bike trails’ is I think largely a cultural, one as I’ve tried to suggest above.

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    gutterbunnybikes September 18, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    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.

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      Pete September 19, 2014 at 10:31 am

      Recently I read that approximately 50% of my county sheriff’s budget goes to traffic enforcement and traffic-related incident response…

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    Marshall Guthrie September 19, 2014 at 11:52 am

    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

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