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Portland parents launch national Vision Zero PAC to push ‘traffic violence apologists’ out of office

Posted by on May 27th, 2015 at 10:05 am


Chris Anderson and Amy Subach, with their two children.
(Photo: Megan Gray via Subach)

A Northeast Portland couple launched a political action committee this week that aims to push politicians out of office if they support the status quo on American streets.

Chris Anderson and Amy Subach say they were inspired by a local electoral win last year and empowered by, among other things, participating in this month’s die-in demonstration outside the Oregon Department of Transportation.

“I think that there absolutely needs to be the kind of advocacy organization for Vision Zero that’s not-modally-specific and nonconfrontational,” said Anderson. “Sort of like the BTA, but for drivers too.”

“I’m not interested in being that organization,” added Anderson, an entrepreneur who co-founded the software company Couchbase. “The way to get people that need to change their tone to change their tone is to be a takedown organization.”

“We ride our bikes with our daughter to and from school on the Going Street neighborhood greenway, and every single time we are out there a car runs a stop sign, or blasts down the street, because Portland politicians don’t have the will to make the streets safe for all users.”
— Amy Subach, Vision Zero PAC

With that in mind, Anderson and Subach, both 35, have begun tapping their networks to identify politicians from coast-to-coast who are, in Anderson’s phrase, “traffic violence apologists.” He says the organization will then take “gloves off” in raising and spending political money around the country to defeat them.

For example: the new organization is offering a $200 reward for a photo of New York City Council Member Rory Lancman texting while driving.

Last week, Lancman introduced a bill there that would make it harder to charge people with misdemeanors after they hit people in crosswalks with cars.

Subach and Anderson, who met while attending Reed College in 1998, have a four-year-old daughter and a nine-month-old son, and said they’re motivated by trying to move them safely around town.


“When we moved back to Portland two years ago, we were excited to ditch our cars and raise our family primarily using human powered transportation,” Subach, who also volunteers as social media coordinator for the local group Better Block PDX, wrote in an email Monday. “We discovered that Portland is selling a package of goods that it can’t deliver. People continue to get hurt and killed crossing streets. Parents who bike their kids to elementary school have to seek out support from other people driving cars and riding bikes so that they don’t get aggressively passed riding on the Clinton neighborhood greenway. We ride our bikes with our daughter to and from school on the Going Street neighborhood greenway, and every single time we are out there a car runs a stop sign, or blasts down the street, because Portland politicians don’t have the will to make the streets safe for all users.”

“The idea is not to go to the negotiating table with these people. It’s to use them as an example.”
— Chris Anderson, Vision Zero PAC

She said she and Anderson had “started talking about something like this pretty soon after we moved back here.” The effort isn’t affiliated with the recently launched Vision Zero Network or any other nonprofit.

“I think we’re both — the time is now,” Subach said. “It seems like it’s more of a national issue and it’s coming to a head, basically. People care about Vision Zero.”

Anderson said his goal for the organization is to replicate defeats like the one last November that helped keep Scott Barbur, a man who had joked on his Facebook page about killing people on bikes with his car, from winning a city council seat in the Portland suburb of Milwaukie.

“What I think I can do is focus on New York City, San Francisco and Portland, and basically just throw fuel on the fire,” Anderson said. “What happened with Scott Barbur was sort of a grassroots thing and it was overwhelming. He nuked himself. And if we can just make that something that politicians can be afraid of. … A couple of wins, I think it would send a clear message. And it would also help us set up a war chest.”

Screenshot 2015-05-27 at 1.17.39 AM

The Vision Zero PAC website, launched Monday: “In any cultural shift, there will be stragglers who defend the old order. Vision Zero PAC is here to remove those people from office.”

As for whether Barbur was a man with bad policies or just a man who acted thoughtlessly while using Facebook, Anderson said “it’s sort of not my place to care.”

“The idea is not to go to the negotiating table with these people, it’s to use them as an example,” Anderson said. He raised another example: Oregon State Rep. John Davis, who recently said he was hoping to start “a conversation” by introducing a bill requiring people to ban biking at night by people without reflective clothing.

Anderson sees such proposals (which were also considered this year in the state legislatures of California, Wyoming and South Dakota) as victim-blaming that encourages continued complacency by people about their choices while driving.

“I think there’s a degree to which the kind of conversation that he said he was starting actually just makes me and my family less safe,” Anderson said. “I don’t think I can go on a ski vacation with John Davis and make him understand that. … The way to get that cultural change in politics is to get a changing of the guard.”

Correction 1 pm: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this post misattributed Subach’s words to Anderson in a pull quote.

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  • Chris Anderson May 27, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Thank you for the write up! We are still getting our legal entity set up so we are only taking pledges, not contributions. We could also use some advice from experienced politicos about the best form to use for our purposes. My email is jchris at gmail.

    We haven’t targetted any Portland politicians yet, but we take the safety delays on our Neighborhood Greenways very seriously. Clinton St. could be fixed in a matter of days if Steve Novick would just say to Leah Treat, “make it safe, I’ll take the heat.” The clock is ticking.

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    • hat May 27, 2015 at 10:35 am

      Thank you for taking the time to do this.

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    • WD May 27, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Nice work, Chris! I saw @VisionZeroPAC on Twitter last week and thought, “Wow, that’s a cool idea. I’m glad someone’s set that up.” It’s fun to know it started right here in Portland!

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    • Glenn May 29, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      I love it. I would like to personally fund (replace) the $200 paid out to whoever nails Lancman.

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  • gutterbunnybikes May 27, 2015 at 10:22 am

    How about a bill to require drivers to wear helmets. Just to start a conversation.

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    • Chris Anderson May 27, 2015 at 10:46 am

      More seriously I’d like a bill to hold vehicle owners legally responsible for incidents where the driver can’t be identified. This would remove a major barrier to citizen initiated citations. It would also be nice if there was a way to make citizen initiated citations into a profit center for local law firms, maybe by splitting the fine between the state and the person making the citation.

      Maybe there are other ways to discourage the kind of aggression that mostly happens without other witnesses. Other ideas?

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      • invisiblebikes May 27, 2015 at 11:46 am

        These might be a little outside what you are thinking but I think we could aggressively combat #baddrivers by implementing the following;

        – Public notification of convictions. i.e billboards showing a driver’s identity after being cited and/or convicted of aggressive driving or traffic violence.
        – Social media releases of above perps.
        – PSA on social media, billboard media and news outlets on safe driving and its importance.
        – Marketing media (posters, pamphlets, stickers) placed in all DMVs raising awareness of the importance of safe driving and the responsibilities a driver assumes when getting behind the wheel.
        – push for cameras on Greenways with prominent signage stating “traffic cameras record aggressive irresponsible driving”

        on a more grassroots (maybe slightly illegal) note;

        – Stickers (that are hard to remove) to stick on cars windows shaming drivers after being seen driving aggressively or irresponsibly

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        • Cervelo May 28, 2015 at 12:35 am

          In order:
          1 – public notification OK if it also applies to cyclists
          2 – does BP count as social media? seem like the perps are smeared pretty good even when it isn’t known if they are guilty
          3 – Portland conservative AM talk radio has been airing ODOT (think it’s theirs) safety ads about being aware of cycling in the past few weeks (I tried to locate the audio online to post here on BP to educate cyclists, but could not find it.)
          4 – The drivers manual explains the responsibilities of safe driving. Drivers Ed used to do that by showing gruesome scenes of blood/guts after crashes – don’t know if that is done now, but I’d suggest it be required to get or renew a license. (bet you’ll like that idea)
          5 – no comment
          6 – stickers could limit driver visibility causing a crash. if the driver sees you do it, you might get something you don’t like – so be careful who you do it to.

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          • Glenn May 30, 2015 at 4:20 pm

            #6 – Good advice – I’ll only do it to sniveling cowards.

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        • Dave May 28, 2015 at 8:09 pm

          Yes, I love the “scarlet letter” idea. I’d also suggest some temporary suspension of auto theft and vandalism prosecutions as devices of social pressure, when there are deemed to be too many DUI/s, hit and runs, and other sociopathic driving behaviors exhibited. Why should the state/city regard drivers’ property to any higher degree than drivers regard the lives of other road users?

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      • paikiala May 27, 2015 at 12:08 pm

        Thanks. Any estimate on the timeline for the IRS stuff? Would it be deductible?

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      • gutterbunnybikes May 27, 2015 at 1:14 pm

        I like your ideas, and I’d even like add hit and run of vulnerable road users classified on par to either assault with a deadly weapon.

        And honestly, I really wasn’t kidding in my original comment. Not that I’d expect such a bill to pass, but it would draw national attention and comparisons to perceived safety of all the transportation options – and it’d likely you get you some pretty needed and free (or at least relatively cheap) national attention if you’re PAC is starting out as being a national national organization.

        Once the paperworks in place let us know. I’d be willing to lay a few bucks down your way once all the I’s are dotted and t’s crossed.

        BTW- is this the first bicycle related PAC? I can’t think of any others off the top of my head.

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        • Chris Anderson May 27, 2015 at 4:24 pm

          We aren’t bicycle related, and I don’t like talking about helmets.

          Thanks for your support!

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        • Cervelo May 28, 2015 at 12:38 am

          I think hit and run usually gets some jail time doesn’t it? And would you not want hit and run of automobiles to get the same punishment or do you need special rules just for your group?

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          • are May 28, 2015 at 2:59 pm

            your group. interesting phrase.

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            • Cervelo May 31, 2015 at 6:01 pm

              That’s the rage now with libs. Each group has to have special rights and special laws with special punishments for those who offend them.

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      • Eric May 27, 2015 at 10:12 pm

        We could start with public vehicles and contractors. I frequently see police, city vehicles, trimet, and even school bus drivers at 10mph over. These vehicle operators need to set the pace at the posted speed.

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      • Cervelo May 28, 2015 at 12:20 am

        If cyclists are going to be issuing citizen tickets to car drivers it is only fair that cyclists are required to have licenses on bikes so car drivers can do the same to cyclists – and the car drivers will make sure that it happens – remember they outnumber cyclists 50 to 1 even in PDX. So, do you still want to pursue the idea?

        Other ideas? Yes, get the cops out of their cop cars – put them in unmarked cars with hidden lights – and put them in cars like the ones people drive – small cars. When bad drivers see a cop car they straighten up RIGHT NOW

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        • Cervelo May 28, 2015 at 12:22 am

          OOPS, I hit return and it posted my comment before it was finished. Here’s the rest:

          …..but as soon as the cop disappears, the bad behavior starts all over again.

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      • Tait May 28, 2015 at 3:04 am

        This raises a lot of constitutional issues with due process. Just because a vehicle is registered in my name doesn’t mean I have any control over the driver. Consider services like relayrides, pool or fleet vehicles, cases of theft, or even future autonomous vehicle operation.

        Allowing qui tam prosecution for traffic violations — which keep in mind are decriminalized in Oregon — creates unchecked incentives for fraud and extortion, which will inevitably play out in the form of victimizing the most vulnerable among the population.

        As for discouraging unwitnessed aggression, I’d go the route of promoting video (gopro or something). It’s not a very positive example, but the reason there are so many dash cam videos from Russia is because everyone has a camera in their car to provide evidence in court against corrupt enforcement and fraud. It apparently works to some degree, because people are still doing it there.

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        • Tait May 28, 2015 at 3:06 am

          To clarify, since the threading on these comments isn’t very clear, the preceding was in response to Chris’ comment:

          “More seriously I’d like a bill to hold vehicle owners legally responsible for incidents where the driver can’t be identified. This would remove a major barrier to citizen initiated citations. It would also be nice if there was a way to make citizen initiated citations into a profit center for local law firms, maybe by splitting the fine between the state and the person making the citation.

          Maybe there are other ways to discourage the kind of aggression that mostly happens without other witnesses. Other ideas?”

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        • Al Dimond May 28, 2015 at 8:18 am

          I think in Germany if a car involved in a serious incident is identified but the driver isn’t (for example, in the case of a hit-and-run) the owner is required to state who was actually driving the car. Owners that can’t do that are, going forward, required to keep a logbook of who’s driving their cars. A more updated version might require maintaining a court-mandated driver cam, like the interlock devices used for DUI. If there’s one other thing that ought to be stigmatized as much as DUI it’s hit-and-run.

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    • Mike May 27, 2015 at 11:50 am

      What’s your point?

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    • Cervelo May 28, 2015 at 12:24 am

      Don’t really need them – cars have a heavy steel cage, safety belts, air bags, etc.

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      • are May 28, 2015 at 3:01 pm

        still plenty of head injuries in car crashes

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    • Paul Richardson May 28, 2015 at 5:25 am

      Or let’s force cellphone manufacturers to make the phones stop working when they are moving…I don’t use a phone while I am riding or driving..but the law to force that to stop…dis nothing! They are still doing it..and texting while driving…we have enough to watch for.

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  • MaxD May 27, 2015 at 10:25 am

    WE live near the Concord Greenway, and I would love to have a safe connection to the Going Greenway with my family on bikes. It could be done simply on Skidmore using existing traffic signals to cross Williams, Vancouver, MLK and 7th, but that would entail removing some rarely used on-street parking. Instead there is a totally convoluted route that forces bikes and peds to cross these busy streets (including the double threat in 2-directuions-MLK- using unsignalized crosswalks! I wish PBOT could commit to its bike network to create some meaningful, safe connections to the pretty great greenways it has. Without the connections, the greenways are not so useful.

    Thanks for taking up this challenge, Chris and Amy! I look forward to supporting you in the future!

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    • paikiala May 27, 2015 at 11:54 am

      The designed greenway route is east/west on Skidmore (where the bike lanes are), north/south on Michigan and east/west on Blandena to Vancouver/Williams then Going. The Vancouver/Williams connection needs work.

      How parked up Skidmore is will depend on the time of day you travel it, but most of the homes are on corners, which helps.
      Many of the commercial properties near the west end do not have on-site parking, so there’s that, though that could be mitigated on some of the side streets.
      Skidmore is also a Neighborhood Collector (intended for higher volumes of traffic) and a Major Emergency Response route between Interstate and MLK.
      East of MLK, I like Skidmore as one south of Prescott greenway out to 77th.
      Shaver, farther south, has more signal crossings, is a local service street eligible for diversion, and connects up to Alameda. Failing is where you would cross I-5.

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      • hat May 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm

        Removing one side of parking on Skidmore would make ample room for a bike lane on each side from Miss to MLK. But this requires political will. Are there numbers on parking capacity for Skidmore?

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        • paikiala May 27, 2015 at 12:07 pm

          Parking lanes are 8 feet wide. 4 ft for a bike lane is irresponsible.

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          • ethan May 27, 2015 at 12:32 pm

            Then remove both sides of parking. Why should the city provide parking on a neighborhood collector for people who already have garages?

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      • MaxD May 27, 2015 at 2:21 pm

        Thanks for your reply, but the (terrible) description of the route of the Going Greenway between 7th and Concord sounds to me like a perfect example of a what a “traffic violence apologist” would say. Instead of using the existing signal at 7th, MLK, Vancouver, Williams, and 4-way stop at Mississippi, PBOT routes bikes down a mix of Going and Blandena (neither crossing through Vancouver and WIlliams without some out-of-direction travel) completely without traffic signals or stop signs. A painted crosswalk and center median refuge exists at MLK, but you are crossing 2 lanes (!!!) of high-speed traffic in either direction with a 8-10 foot refuge in the center. If the double threat doesn’t kill you, trying to crowd a small family into that center island will. The route PBOT has chosen is terrible and unsafe and does not begin to work for the 8-80 crowd. Worse still, a much safer route exists with signals and no out-of-direction travel- but it would require parking removal to make it safe. I get that Skidmore is a Neighborhood Collector and an Emergency Response Route, but that should not preclude physically separated, protected bikeways to connect the bike network across a series of arterials and busy commercial streets.

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        • paikiala May 28, 2015 at 11:27 am

          Name call away. There is no signal at 7th and Skidmore, all way stop?

          Skidmore at 15th is down hill form a curve with poor sight distance, while Going at 15th has clear sight lines.
          Shaver has signals at 15th and the other ones you named that have signals.

          I agree that if Skidmore is to be designed as a bikeway, it should have bike lanes, since it is also intended to have high traffic volumes.
          I agree that MLK/Going is near the limit for adding more warnings or control.

          Safety is not an absolute and all pathways in Portland can be made safer, forever. You will need to provide your definition of ‘safe enough’ before any dialog can actually happen. I propose 10% *risk* of fatality as a starting point.

          Portland has not begun the actual difficult conversation about what should be given up to achieve what is desired as an outcome.

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          • Chris Anderson May 29, 2015 at 9:29 am
            • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 10:14 am

              What is good or bad is a value judgment, so it is subjective. The value discussion has not yet taken place in Portland. The link describes one person’s interpretation of the original VZ in Sweden as making it safe to continue using your car. Such a concept is likely to be rejected by a majority who blog here.

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              • JMak May 30, 2015 at 12:17 am

                Yes, it does appear that the majority here simply want to ban cars or have the state take our cars away…

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              • soren May 31, 2015 at 9:15 pm

                Do I need to remind you that I just bought a car and payed fees and taxes, JMak?

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  • bArbaroo May 27, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Proud to know you Chris and Amy!

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  • LC May 27, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Very nice. Vision zero means zero traffic deaths, but it should also stand for zero tolerance to the culture that tolerates traffic violence of any kind.

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  • Tom Hardy May 27, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Very good Chris and Amy. I ride greater Portland with a feeling of having a target painted on the back of my jersey. I am retired now with a fixed income but I can give support occationally. since I read that a bill was presented to the state legislature on allowing blacked out windows on vehicles, so that the drivers would not have to wear sunglasses, I have noted nearly 20 % of the SUV’s and commercial vans and pickups with them. Many are driving through red lights while they are texting. The drivers cannot be identified. Just a tip of the iceberg.

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    • Cervelo May 28, 2015 at 12:41 am

      I always thought those black windows were illegal, but a huge number of cars have them so apparently the cops don’t care about them. They’d probably be nice on a hot day if you have no A/C.

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  • Dave May 27, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Very good! “Traffic violence apologists;” wish I could put words together like that.

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    • Cervelo May 28, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Only problem is: there is no such thing. No elected person will make excuses for intentional and malicious traffic offences. Accidents are not “traffic violence” and everyone knows it except for a few extremists. The words do not fit what these folks are trying to fight which I think is unsafe driving and roads. Their cause will be hurt by the obvious sensationalism in the use of the words. EXCEPT with some cyclists and some peds – but even most of those will not fall for it because they also drive cars and don’t want their lives ruined for making an honest mistake.

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  • PeeJay May 27, 2015 at 11:42 am

    100% support! I like the way you highlight that some “conversations” aren’t worth having. We’ve done that already, and it’s hindering our progress to continue talking with these people.

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  • wkw May 27, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Shaming is a very powerful tool, and it should be extended to technocrats in upper management at ODOT as well.

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  • Joe Adamski May 27, 2015 at 11:57 am

    The consciousness is shifting, albeit slowly. Vision Zero relies on safe facilities as well as education and policy. As long as we are accepting unsafe facilities as we move through our city and neighborhood, there will be no change. Well planned and implemented facilities need to be demanded by a large voice in the community before we are heard. Time for coalition building around Vision Zero.

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  • Paul Souders May 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Here’s a conversation we could start with politicians:

    If Vision Zero is impossible, what number is? How many of your constituents should die on the roads under your jurisdiction? Vision 100? Vision One? Vision 0.1%?

    I mean, this is a fill-in-the-blank question. My 6-year-old can do those.

    “I think no more than [___] of you should die on our roads under my watch.”

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    • Tait May 28, 2015 at 3:17 am

      That is exactly the conversation we should be having, but politicians aren’t the ones to answer it. The answer needs to come from we the public. How much are we willing to give up to prevent the next accident? For the sake of argument, let’s say we’ve knocked off all the big items on the pareto and are down to little things. Is it worth raising property taxes 30% to raise the tens of billions necessary to completely reroute, rebuild, and fully mitigate all the freeways? Is it worth banning all automotive vehicles from Portland to save the next 6 lives? Is it worth banning all bicycles to save that last one life who died from a bicycle-pedestrian collision with an especially vulnerable pedestrian?

      The cost of saving the next life increases asymptotically as you approach 1%, 0.1%, 0.01%, … 0.0001%, etc. We need to decide how far up that cost curve we’re willing to go, and then tell politicians to meet that target. Saying “go to 0” is not really the answer, because that implies infinite cost, and we don’t have infinite resources to get there.

      (I don’t mean “cost” in a strictly monetary sense. I also mean it in the restrictions and inconveniences we endure to achieve those benefits. And I have no idea what the actual numbers look like. 30% and 6 lives are numbers I invented out of thin air just to make the point.)

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    • q`Tzal May 29, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      Just shove the camera & mic directly in their face and ask the political candidates:
      “How many of your constituents should die on the roads under your jurisdiction?”
      Then watch them all squirm and backpedal over several days like the 2016 Republican primary candidates did when asked about being lied in to the Iraq War.

      The squirming and shaming is the important part.

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      • Tait May 30, 2015 at 10:29 am

        If I were a politician, I’d answer that pretty easily, no squirming involved, with: “Look, nobody SHOULD die, because we ALL should all pay attention, not be distracted, and follow all the traffic regulations, all the time. Thanks.”

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  • Mark Gamba May 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Vision Zero is not impossible and certainly should be the goal. I attempted to make it one of Milwaukie’s Council Goals this year. Instead we ended up with a watered down version of it, but it remains my goal here.
    Mark Gamba
    Mayor of Milwaukie (elect)

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    • Cervelo May 28, 2015 at 12:44 am

      It better be your goal or else you’ll have your picture plastered on a billboard as an example of a horrible person!

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      • Oregon Mamacita May 28, 2015 at 9:13 am

        Nice empty threat- you guys won’t have the $ for billboards.

        Your advocacy of shaming and vigelante activism (remember George Zimmerman) is laughable. You are outnumbered and outgunned by cars,
        and you alienate other regular riders such as myself. Twice this month I have given one-finger salutes to male riders yelling on your left at me and also stopped aggressive bike racing on the Corridor by making the racers go single file by refusing to be bullied over to the right.

        Rather than being divisive and anti-car we should get cooperation between drivers and cyclists. Everyone needs to be reminded that “speed kills” and that means cyclists too have to ride at safe speeds too.

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        • Cervelo May 28, 2015 at 1:05 pm

          Agree with you. My comment was meant as a joke – thus the smiley face. 🙂

          BUT, they may have the money for billboards because the idiots in city goobermint will probably provide it.

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          • Alan 1.0 May 28, 2015 at 3:34 pm

            Ohhhhhh! Is that a replacement for the former Trek 3900?

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            • 9watts June 3, 2015 at 8:37 am

              Between the two of them they are responsible for 83% of the 24 uses to date of the execrable term g**bermint in bikeportland discussions.

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              • El Biciclero June 3, 2015 at 9:54 am

                Maybe it’s a reversion to latin roots gubernare and gubernator

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        • soren May 28, 2015 at 2:43 pm

          One of the nice things about riding fast is that I rarely notice speedists flipping me off.

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  • Lenora Oftedahl May 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Not going to be popular here, but I do the best I can when driving on city streets. Yes, I get that I am driving a lethal weapon. BUT, when folks are not using bike lanes, riding on sidewalks, going the wrong way, etc. They become more a hazard and are tempting fate. Let’s get some of the bike-fascists to follow the rules of the road so I’m not causing accidents trying to twist my head around like an owl looking for all possible victims.

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    • hat May 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Which bike lanes are they not using?

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      • Eric May 27, 2015 at 10:15 pm

        The narrow door-zone lanes with random bumps and debris or the 3ft ones with the paint worn off?

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        • paikiala May 28, 2015 at 11:29 am

          Locate a 3-ft ‘bike lane’ in Portland for me.

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          • Eric May 29, 2015 at 7:48 am

            6th crossing the highway into downtown. Any “bike lane” with 2 ft of leaves on the curb or the blackberry growth throughout southwest.

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            • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 10:19 am

              the lane that starts in the middle of the overcrossing?
              Re: maintenance, have you called it in to 823-SAFE or 823-1700?

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          • invisiblebikes May 29, 2015 at 9:47 am

            -the “bike lane” from SW barbur on Capitol hwy up to Terwilliger is no more than 2-3 ft wide. As soon as you make the right turn to go up Capitol hwy it goes from barely standard width to less than 3′ on a blind corner.

            -The bike lane on 11th between NE Holladay st and NE Multnomah st transitions from really bad MAX track crossing to a 1′ wide lane that dead ends into a sharrow just before the light on Multnomah.

            – The bike lanes on NE 12th ave going south as you cross Burnside and transition onto Sandy blvd narrows to less than 3 feet on a right hand corner/turn making it almost impossible to be in this part of the lane if a car or even worse a truck is next to you… they will cut the corner every time!
            Then there is the SE Sandy blvd northbound lane as it approaches SE Ankeny st and forces the rider to turn right on Ankeny from an already less than 3′ wide lane and to top it off its a lane that forces you onto Ankeny where there are cars parked making you get out of the bike lane as you make your right putting you in peril for a few seconds on Sandy.

            Don’t get me started on the Bike Lane on NW Broadway from Burnside all the way up to SW Market st… the parked cars are always encroaching into the narrow bike lane and the taxi stations/ Hotel zone make it impossible to ride in the already narrow bike lane!

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            • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 10:23 am

              This is 3 feet or less?

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              • invisiblebikes May 29, 2015 at 10:36 am

                On capitol hwy, your still on barbur there chief

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              • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 1:05 pm

                your description was lacking and anyone can tab forward to look up the street. So your complaint is not about the width of the bike lane, but the maintenance of the roadside edge, it seems. Have you requested maintenance – 823-SAFE, or 823-1700?

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              • invisiblebikes May 29, 2015 at 1:36 pm

                No, you just decided to read what you want and your blinded by your own self importance. Its typical of someone that can’t admit when he’s wrong.

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            • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 10:25 am

              This bike lane on 11th?
              you confuse the buffer with the ending bike lane to the right – look at 11th south of Holladay.

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              • invisiblebikes May 29, 2015 at 11:01 am

                That’s exactly my point… follow the clues. as a rider follows the absurd dotted bike lane zigzagging across the tracks where does it point them?

                into a narrow lane that narrows down to 1′ wide by the time they see the sharrow… its confusing and poorly designed.

                And you don’t need to soap box and tell me to think for myself and “not use it” the whole point of bike lanes is to make it simple and clear for people on bicycle to navigate the city streets in a sudo safe way.
                yes I know what to do and how to navigate these bad designs… but what about new commuters, inexperienced riders or delivery people riding them for the first time?
                Is it fair to tell them to “think for yourself” and “not use that lane”? No.

                PBOT needs to get off their butts and ride the infrastructure on a regular basis and see what happens to under managed and poorly maintained bicycle infrastructure.

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              • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm

                BS. The left side of the dashed bike lane through the intersection ends at the right side of the solid buffer. The bike lane is indicated through the intersection to reduce the likelihood of cyclist crossing the curved track at an acute angle.

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              • invisiblebikes May 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm

                Aaaand that’s why Portland bicycle infrastructure is a complete joke… because people with zero humility and full of self importance can’t admit when something doesn’t work.

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              • El Biciclero June 3, 2015 at 11:51 am

                Well, if I were painting this couple of blocks, the sharrows on NB 11th would start just before the right-only lane from 11th onto Holladay. The lane is going to disappear into sharrows anyway, and the track angle near the centerline is at least as obtuse as where the existing bike lane lines indicate bikes should cross the tracks. The bike lane as marked creates two hazards for bicycle riders: 1) deviation from a straight path that rejoins the straight path just as the “protection” of a bike lane is ending essentially forces bicyclists to swerve into auto traffic; 2) forcing bicyclists to remain to the right of straight-through NB motor traffic hides them from SB drivers turning left from 11th onto Holladay, setting up the perfect conditions for the kind of collision we’ve seen too much of in the last few weeks.

                The current design of the bike lane through this intersection demonstrates the obsession we have with keeping bicyclists “out of the way” to the far right at all costs, even when it is more dangerous than just merging with auto traffic for two blocks. If we’re not going to go full-protected, separate-signal cycle tracks, then we MUST get comfortable with merging sooner (having longer distances and more time to negotiate a merge) and being “in the way” (not really) longer than our current designs seem to allow. Expecting bike riders to pop out of a disappearing bike lane or “protected” bike lane into a “mixing zone” and be able to merge within a 20 to 50 foot run is ridiculous and dangerous.

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            • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 10:28 am

              That bike lane on the far side? 5 feet.

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              • invisiblebikes May 29, 2015 at 10:39 am

                Yes sir, the bike lane underneath that big ugly bill board, faded and narrows to less than 3 feet around the corner… very scary and dangerous.

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              • Eric May 30, 2015 at 3:32 pm

                3ft ones with the paint worn off by drivers running across the line? Did I say that already? Seems like PPB’s traffic division could hang out there for a couple hours while the paint is fresh and write tickets or something.

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            • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 10:31 am

              This bike lane at the corner? 5 feet – request the catch basin be raised or parking removed at 823-SAFE, or the marking removed so you don’t feel trapped there, or maybe think for yourself and don’t use it.


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              • invisiblebikes May 29, 2015 at 10:46 am

                Why the hostility? you asked to be shown a 3 foot bike lane?! and I suggest you go ride them instead of looking at old google map images because it sure isn’t 5 feet wide there.

                Is this what traffic engineers/PBOT do? sit and look at google map images of infrastructure that needs attention?
                News flash, those images are old… sometimes as old as 5 years, how many times has that faded line been repainted just a little bit closer to the curb every time?

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              • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm

                You haven’t shown a 3-foot bike lane yet.

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              • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 1:12 pm

                Your reading of hostility is from inside your own head. Easy to do, I know.
                If challenging your assumptions defines ‘hostile’ to you, so be it.

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              • invisiblebikes May 29, 2015 at 1:42 pm

                As usual the ego gets in the way and you can’t see the truth from your own false importance.
                I’ve read plenty of your replies and its always the same bloated hot air…

                stay classy Chief.

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            • paikiala May 29, 2015 at 10:34 am

              NW Broadway – 4 feet in many places – agreed it is substandard, but it is not 3 feet (my challenge).

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              • invisiblebikes May 29, 2015 at 10:52 am

                Again, how many times have they been repainted just a little closer to the curb each time?
                unless you go ride them and make sure they are repainted right (correct distances each time) then this is what happens… a 4 foot wide lane becomes a 3’10” lane then repainted as a 3’8″ lane and so on until sections (a lot on NW Broadway) wiggle between 3′ and somewhere else.

                Yes Broadway is a whole different animal and has tons of issues but lane width is definitely a big one.

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          • El Biciclero June 3, 2015 at 9:58 am

            Many have what you might call an effective width of three feet or less due to car doors, gutter seams, sunken storm drains, rail tracks, etc. Sure, curb-to-stripe may be five or six feet, but not all of that is usable lane surface.

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    • Chris Anderson May 27, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      I ride like I’m carrying a 4 year old (because I am) and that doesn’t stop me from being on the receiving of motorist BS on a regular basis. I think physically separated infrastructure will prove itself to be necessary for Vision Zero, but that shouldn’t stop us from getting aggressive with paint (and everything else) yesterday.

      Please pledge to contribute here:

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      • Evan Manvel May 27, 2015 at 4:03 pm

        Just letting you know, pledges are required to be reported if you’re an Oregon PAC.

        Time to decide whether you’re (a) a Federal PAC; or (b) an Oregon PAC. or a 527 or a 501c4, etc.

        There are free manuals on this stuff available from the elections department. Go get one. Learn it.

        Best of luck; we’re all counting on you. 🙂

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        • Chris Anderson May 27, 2015 at 6:40 pm

          Thanks we have a call with a lawyer scheduled, so should be set up soon enough.

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          • KristenT May 28, 2015 at 10:06 am

            Also find a good CPA who is familiar with what you’re trying to do, and who knows what the filing and taxation requirements are.

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    • MaxD May 27, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      I have been yelled at a few times for biking north on the sidewalk along MLK (southbound vehicle lanes). Perhaps you have seen me and yelled at me? FWIW, I HATE riding on the sidewalk and this the worst part of my commute. What are my alternatives? 1. Go a few blocks out of my way to ride the Esplanade- time consuming, ackward to share the space with peds because I like to ride quickly when commuting, and not real safe way to get the Esplanade from the Central Eastside. 2. Take the lane on Grand: I have done it, it also sucks- I have been yelled at and intimidated by motorists doing this also. 3. Go up to 12th to cross I-84: very much out of my way, terrible bike crossing from Sandy to 12th, very uncomfortable biking on 7th to get to Williams.

      My point is, the bike network is pretty crappy in Portland and there are tons of critical missing pieces. These gaps force people on bikes to ride on sidewalks, ride the wrong way, etc. You should compare the places in town where you see this type of riding behavior and compare these places to the Portland Bike Maps; I would be interested to hear if the bad behavior corresponds with transportation gaps. My advice: start noticing bad behavior in motor vehicles instead, cut the bike riders some slack- would you rather they were in a car?

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      • MaxD May 27, 2015 at 4:33 pm

        This was supposed to be in response to Lenora Oftedahl

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      • Oregon Mamacita May 28, 2015 at 9:18 am

        Maybe you need to slow down in the city. No right to go fast. No one forces you to do anything- you make choices. I rarely have conflicts with drivers and pedestrians when I bike (and I will ride on the sidewalk). But I ride very respectfully unless ticked off by a certain type of cyclist.

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        • LC May 29, 2015 at 10:09 am

          “Twice this month I have given one-finger salutes to male riders yelling on your left at me and also stopped aggressive bike racing on the Corridor by making the racers go single file by refusing to be bullied over to the right.”
          ” I rarely have conflicts with drivers and pedestrians when I bike (and I will ride on the sidewalk). But I ride very respectfully unless ticked off by a certain type of cyclist.”
          Sounds like your bad attitude and sexist confrontational behavior are what’s creating conflicts out there, not the people who ride confidently or call out when passing.

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      • JMak May 28, 2015 at 11:06 pm

        “These gaps force people on bikes to ride on sidewalks, ride the wrong way, etc.”

        Actually, no.

        You make a choice to ride unsafely by riding the wrong way or on the sidewalk.

        I am a bike commuter, too, and choose not to ride the wrong way or on sidewalks, and, yeah, this means I ride a few blocks out of my way to ride safely.

        Shame on you for attempting to blame others for your decisions and your actions.

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      • Tom Hardy May 30, 2015 at 12:56 pm

        I ride MLK and Grand at least twice a month. I stay away from the right lanes, rails. Always in the left lane as per ORS. Sometimes a marked bike path appear in the right side in past years but I ignored them as well.

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    • KristenT May 28, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Name-calling is not a good way to get people to listen to and respond well to your comment. But I’ll make an effort.

      As a bike rider, I leave the bike lane for the following conditions, that you as a driver have no awareness of:
      — glass shards from broken bottles
      — plastic, glass and metal from car crashes
      — gravel left over from “winter”
      — pot holes
      — dead animals
      — dirty diapers tossed out of car windows
      — trash
      — yard debris swept into the bike lane from landscape work
      — drainage grates sunk below road grade
      — pedestrians walking there because there’s no sidewalk
      — slower bicycle riders
      — parked cars
      — parked trucks
      — garbage cans on garbage day

      I think that more emphasis should be put on those car fascists who don’t follow the rules such as speeding, running stop signs, blowing red lights (especially right on red), no turn signals, passing too close, not stopping for pedestrians crossing the street in marked AND in unmarked cross walks. That’s just to name a few. The roads would be far safer if you car people followed the laws.

      (See how name-calling doesn’t work?)

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      • KristenT May 28, 2015 at 9:48 am

        Mine was also supposed to be a response to Lenora Oftedahl.

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    • soren May 28, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      “Let’s get some of the bike-fascists to follow the rules of the road”

      When complaining about others not following the “rules of the road” its helpful to actually know the “rules of the road”. Riding on sidewalks is legal in most of portland as is riding in and between vehicle lanes.

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  • Tom Hardy May 28, 2015 at 9:58 am

    BTW I use bike lanes when they ARE NOT covered in glass. I do not do sidewalks in the car or bike. I do traffic lanes when bike lanes are dangerous, less than a door width. I do pass on the right when traffic is stopped and the opening is safe. I do pass on the left when drivers are not using signals, to turn right, or busy texting, or have bugs (cell phones) glued to their ear, at lights.

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  • Joe Rowe May 28, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Good idea. We need all good actions and ideas on the table.

    I’m confused by the reporting here
    a) This pair says their PAC is non confrontational

    b) The reporter says they are going after people. To me this is public shaming. That conflicts with (a). People who run for office make mistakes with their words, what matters is what they DO.

    Is it A or B?

    Do they co-sponsor vision zero laws and budgets?

    Do they get vision zero laws out of committee and to a floor vote?

    Do they campaign in a way that supports vision zero? Do they blog about vision zero and act as a vision zero diplomat?

    Do they support town hall meetings on vision zero?

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    • are May 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      the way i read it was, there is a space for non-confrontational orgs, but we are not here to fill that space

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    • JMak May 28, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      They exist as a “takedown” organization. They are bullies, plain and simple. Disagree with these and you’re an advocate of vehicular violence.

      Quite disgusting language and attitude on display here by so-called bike advocates.

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  • Mike May 28, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Interesting response from BTA on KGW:

    Essentially – Applaud their effort, but they should be giving us their resources.

    BTA has been around a long time and we still have way too many incidents.

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    • Tait May 29, 2015 at 2:27 am

      As pointed out even in this article, there needs to be an organization that “plays by the rules”, nicely, and develops relationships that allow them to build and maintain contacts, even with those who may not agree with the vision.

      Particularly here on BP, a lot of people seem unhappy with such a meek approach. That’s fine; go support more radical organizations that aren’t afraid to alienate potential contacts, who push the boundaries a little and force themselves into the public’s attention. Sometimes, that may be necessary. Look what it’s done after the death on Powell, for example.

      But, supporting and having the latter does not mean the former is a waste or unneeded. We need at least the first, and probably also some of the second.

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  • Karin Power May 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Chris and Amy (and other BP readers):
    As a longtime BikePortland reader and bike commuter, I want to reach out and say thank you for your support last fall and wish you the best of luck as you get your PAC up and going. Our approach to shared streets was just one of many issues that differentiated my campaign and Scott’s, and this year, with overwhelming community support and thoughtful discussions with fellow Councilors, our top Council goal is to develop an all-inclusive bike, pedestrian and street safety program. (Vision Zero was not watered down but more acknowledged not to be our city’s greatest need – we first and foremost lack basic bike/ped infrastructure in nearly all of the city, and will be looking to fix that first.)
    And speaking of firsts, Council recently approved the location for our first bike repair stand in front of City Hall, thanks to the advocacy of Bike Milwaukie. So while city councilor races may seem small outside Portland, please know that whether your donation was $10 or $100, you helped fuel the most individual donor-driven campaign in Milwaukie last year- and it is making a difference. Thank you.

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    • Chris Anderson June 2, 2015 at 5:16 am

      When y’all get stuff on the ground we’ll be needing a real estate agent. Seriously excited to see the momentum in Milwaukie!

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  • Alan 1.0 May 28, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Chris Anderson
    More seriously I’d like a bill to hold vehicle owners legally responsible for incidents where the driver can’t be identified.

    I would strongly support that for hit-and-run types of cases, anywhere that the criminal is literally hidden by the car and the owner is collaborating to protect the perp.

    I’d also ask you put a period after “…hold vehicle owners legally responsible for incidents,” in the sense of strict liability laws. No more “SMIDSY” excuses, no more “it’s an accident, it could have been any of us” sophistry (ask insurance companies about safe vs dangerous drivers). If you operate a dangerous machine, you assume the responsibility or you lose the privelege. Period. It works very well in countries which have implemented it.

    (I have reservations about turning law enforcement over to the masses so I snipped that part.)

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    • paikiala May 28, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Better laws, better enforcement, better adjudication are all aspects of a Safe Systems/Vision Zero approach to surface transportation.

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  • JMak May 28, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Very offensive. Look at the language being employed here…modeled after pro-abortion activists with their war on women schtick and after pro-gay marriage activists who can see no other reason to oppose them other than hating gays.

    ““traffic violence apologists” = anyone who disagrees with them and anyone they disagree with. Who the hell apologizes for traffic violence? Orwell would be proud.

    All this is is naming and shaming…bullying, really. Nice example they are setting for their children. It is not okay, when the issue is one that involves some progressive priority, like taking cars from people, to shame people, well, to bully people. People like these can’t win at the ballot box so they abuse the courts. Now, in addition to abusing the courts, they will both attempt to use the state, state or local governments to do their bidding or will bully those they disagree with or who have the audacity to disagree with them. Quite disgusting behavior.

    “and every single time we are out there a car runs a stop sign, or blasts down the street, because Portland politicians don’t have the will to make the streets safe for all users.””

    Uh, no. Politicians are not responsible for the actions of drivers. Drivers are responsible. Perhaps this makes sense if you believe that politicians are not forcefully taking cars from people and ripping up driving lanes in order to reduce car usage to zero. Otherwise, this statement, er, allocation blame makes no sense … at all … in any shape or form.

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    • Chris Anderson May 29, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Actually our biggest inspiration in terms of tactics is Grover Norquist. Very helpful book he’s written.

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    • El Biciclero June 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      “Who the hell apologizes for traffic violence?” –JMak

      “Apologist: a person who defends or supports something (such as a religion, cause, or organization) that is being criticized or attacked by other people” –Merriam-Webster

      Of course, nobody with political aspirations would overtly “defend or support” traffic violence, but every time we hear, “it was just a tragic accident”, or a crash that injures a pedestrian or cyclist is not investigated, or the penalty for killing a vulnerable road user is either nothing or maybe a $260 ticket, it sends the subtle message that killing and maiming people is something we just can’t help. We accept the “fact” that drivers will make careless or negligent mistakes that kill people, and we tend to just think of such errors as “innocent mistakes” that “anyone could make”. Such implicit acceptance of violent (intentional or not, but violent nonetheless) death on our streets as just the cost of doing business—nobody’s fault, really, is tantamount to “defending and supporting” such deaths or injuries—or at the very least, the behaviors that lead to such deaths or injuries.

      No, politicians aren’t responsible for the actions of drivers, but they are mostly responsible for society’s response to the dangerous actions of drivers. A few might, but I don’t think very many here are advocating your straw man of “reducing driving to zero” or arbitrarily “taking people’s cars away”. However, it is far too easy for habitual dangerous drivers to continue their potentially deadly driving unhindered due to a lack of measures available to curb such driving. Just as convicted hackers must stay away from computers or other felons must not possess firearms (implements with which they are deemed likely to cause harm to society), habitual bad drivers must have access to actual automobiles restricted, not just access to a little card that says you have driving privileges.

      How is what you call “naming and shaming” of politicians any different from what takes place during any election campaign? Do not political opponents make every effort to call out each other’s perceived shortcomings? What is a political opponent if not merely someone “you disagree with”? Politicians who want to make it harder to hold those who wield 4,000-6,000 pounds of metal and glass at speeds up to 80 MPH responsible for the potential ramifications of doing so irresponsibly are, it would seem to me, legitimate targets for political opposition by anyone who is interested in making streets safer for everyone. I don’t think the goal is to conjure up lies about anyone—that would be disgusting behavior—but speaking out against certain politicians and supporting their opponents is part and parcel of our republic in action.

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