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Rides this Saturday will protest unsafe streets and celebrate immigration

Posted by on August 4th, 2016 at 9:23 pm

A ghost bike for Lydia Johnson has been placed at 82nd and Flavel.(Photo: Daniel Gebhart)

A ghost bike for Lydia Johnson has been placed at 82nd and Flavel.
(Photo: Daniel Gebhart)

When big things happen, good or bad, many Portlanders turn to the community for support. And since cycling is such a powerful and common way to connect with other people and with the city around us — group rides become an organizing principle.

Whether it’s for a bike-related cause or not, Portlanders ride together as a way to process emotions, support each other, and inspire change.

This Saturday there are two rides that perfectly exemplify this phenomenon: the 82nd Avenue of Death Ride, and the Immigration Ride.

The 82nd Avene of Death Ride (5:00 pm at Woodstock City Park) is being organized by BikeLoud PDX, a grassroots, all-volunteer group that’s pushing for safer bikeways throughout the city. The name is a play on the street’s actual name: 82nd Avenue of the Roses. BikeLoud and many other Portlanders are angered by the death last Saturday of Lydia Johnson, who was killed when the driver of a truck collided with her at the intersection of 82nd and Flavel.

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“Too many people have been killed or injured on this ‘Avenue of Death,’ BikeLoud wrote in a description of the ride. “This Saturday, we will ride and walk in the street to protest ODOT and the City of Portland’s failure to make SE 82nd (and other high crash corridors) safe for people.”

BikeLoud is encouraging people to bring signs and “justified rage” at what they say is the state and city’s failure to keep citizens safe.

After the protest ride, get ready to celebrate cultural diversity on the Immigration Ride (7:00 pm at Fubonn Shopping Center, 2850 SE 82nd Ave). Organized by Portland resident and BikePortland guest contributor Taz Loomans, the ride will aim to counter the “anti-immigration and nativist sentiment” in America and around the world due to the political campaign of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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

46 Comments
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    ethan August 4, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    I’m a huge fan of immigration. Mostly because I like the variety of food it brings. Btw, if anyone happens to know where to get authentic Nicaraguan food, I’d be all over that!

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      andrew August 5, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Beyond ethnic restaurants, immigration also grows the labor force, something that is increasingly important as the population as a whole ages. These new labor force participants not only contribute tax dollars, some also are directly involved in the care of our aging and ill. I speak from experience, an overwhelming majority of CNA’s I’ve worked with in a care facility I manage have been foreign born.
      My dad is an immigrant, immigrants do in fact make a meaningful contribution to society and are not the cause of this country’s ills as some politicians and talking heads would have you believe.

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        ethan August 5, 2016 at 11:06 am

        Agreed! I only mentioned the food because I love food. My family immigrated to the country in the 1800’s. Of course, there was some anti-immigration sentiment then as well (potentially moreso; I’m not a history major). But my family was able to come into this country and find something that worked for us. People coming in now (regardless where they’re coming from) should have the opportunity to come and I definitely welcome them.

        Without immigration, my family could very well still be poor farmers in Poland.

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          andrew August 5, 2016 at 2:12 pm

          Here here! I have to say I’m a big fan of the mom and pop owned teriyaki places.
          When you look at anti immigrant sentiment around the world, it is in fact just thinly veiled racism. I don’t hear any objections being raised to immigration to the US from predominantly white countries. My dad immigrated from Europe, and my maternal grandparents from Norway. Comparing them to immigrants from Mexico or refugees from the middle east, they’ve had no problems at all.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty August 5, 2016 at 2:32 pm

            It’s all about numbers; there are not thousands of poor European migrants arriving here every day. Look at how the Irish were treated when they started arriving in large numbers (though, I admit, the historic nature of this example makes it an imperfect comparison).

            I think most of the current reaction is a combination of (misplaced) economic and (misplaced) security issues.

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              9watts August 7, 2016 at 8:58 pm

              “I think most of the current reaction is a combination of (misplaced) economic and (misplaced) security issues.”

              Broad brush here?

              My objections have entirely to do with biophysical limits, with carrying capacity, and the surprisingly often overlooked matter of when the time will be right to get real about these matters. Kicking the population growth can down the road, waiting until we have twice or four times as many people living in the metro area to face the music of limits is beyond absurd.

              Treating everyone with respect; seeking to give those among us who are poor or undocumented or homeless or otherwise disadvantaged a fair shake are things I support with all my heart, but an undifferentiated invitation for unlimited numbers to join us in the future is an excellent recipe for diminishing the prospects of those very folks who already/right now can’t afford to live here, find work, or food.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 7, 2016 at 10:25 pm

                I believe those are the two big issues people have with immigration. At the national level, I find it difficult to say to a Syrian refugee “Sorry — we’re at capacity… please try somewhere else.” At the Portland level, it’s a different story; I think there are things we can do to discourage the level of immigration we’ve been seeing. Those things would likely come with some severe side-effects, so they are not without trade-offs.

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        9watts August 7, 2016 at 9:58 pm

        “immigration also grows the labor force, something that is increasingly important as the population as a whole ages.”

        So how does this play out when the now-larger-population of young people ages? Will you (or your descendants) then crow about needing yet more people from somewhere to fix this supposed imbalance?
        This is crazy talk.
        What we need is to get out of this circular growth-obsessed logic and find another way to run our society that is not predicated on exponential growth in everything.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty August 7, 2016 at 10:29 pm

          I think we’ll soon be at the point where that cycle does indeed break; it is now becoming possible to set up entire factories with very little human labor, which will leave a growing component of the labor force without anything to do. What happens then is anyone’s guess, but it will likely decouple the size of labor force from generating revenue to support social services.

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      jeff August 5, 2016 at 11:22 am

      I believe the Mercado on Foster has a Nicaraguan cart.

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    K'Tesh August 5, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Praying for Lydia, her friends, and family. Have a safe ride out there folks.

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    Dave August 5, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Use the Immigration ride as an excuse to stop for some local ethic food beforehand. Ride a Schwinn if you’ve got it–German immigrant Ignaz Schwinn was behind those. If you’ve got some Pace cycling clothing, wear it–Colombian immigrant Jorge Saavedra makes that stuff.

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    rick August 5, 2016 at 8:12 am

    What about the people who have died on public streets from drivers who are undocumented, illegal citizens without a license and without any driving training at places like Pro Drive at PIR?

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      Dave August 5, 2016 at 9:23 am

      Why are they the least bit different from licensed, insured, US-born drivers who are untrained killer motoring primates?

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 5, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Driving without a license and insurance is bad, even if your ancestors were on the Mayflower.

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        KristenT August 5, 2016 at 11:59 am

        Mayflower passengers were also immigrants…. just sayin’.

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      dan August 5, 2016 at 11:25 am

      What about all the people who have died on public streets from people who were not responsible enough to be trusted with a 2 ton piece of machinery? It’s not really clear to me why you think immigration status is the most important factor there – I don’t want anyone who’s not qualified to be driving.

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        Kyle Banerjee August 5, 2016 at 11:41 am

        Some of the newer safety systems in cars cannot arrive soon enough for me. Having vehicles automatically detect and avoid/brake for cyclists has to be the most significant safety improvement since the development of actual cycling infrastructure.

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          Harald August 5, 2016 at 1:11 pm

          Risk compensation theory would imply that new technologies are just going to make people drive faster/less attentively. After all, their autopilot/brake assist/etc. is going to take care of everything; so I can focus more on playing Pokemon, texting, and so on.

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            Kyle Banerjee August 5, 2016 at 3:22 pm

            There is a huge difference with autopilot. Autopilots will never drive aggressively, rage, or act like jerks. Frankly, I trust an autopilot more than a human to notice me in the lane or along the side of the road.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty August 5, 2016 at 10:47 pm

              I’m not so sure… my Autopilot got angry when it read your post.

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      Spiffy August 5, 2016 at 11:39 am

      I’m having trouble thinking of incidents you describe… but I can think of many where the perp was a legal american…

      perhaps you can refresh my memory with a recent event?

      because to me it seems the undocumented immigrants are usually the victims since they’re trying not to drive poorly lest they be caught…

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      B. Carfree August 5, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      When I lived in the Central Valley, aka where our food is grown, it was always a joy to have an immigrant, especially the undocumented variety, pass me on the roads. I could always tell it was one of them (oops) because they always slowed down and moved all the way over to make sure the pass was safe. Being treated like that is an instant cure for racism, at least among folks who ride bikes.

      I’m sure one can find instances of undocumented immigrants being involved in fatal crashes, but I would be surprised if they weren’t involved at a much lower rate than other motorists, just based on my own experiences.

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      9watts August 7, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      “What about the people who have died on public streets from drivers who are undocumented”

      Are you for real? Do you have statistics to suggest that this is a problem? Those I know who are not allowed to renew their licenses due to mean-spirited Oregon laws are the most cautious, attentive drivers I’ve ever encountered. I’m sure there are a few who fail that test, but to make a statement like you did strikes me as just the kind of ill-considered demagoguery we’ve come to expect from Mr. Trump.

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    Huey Lewis August 5, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Funny thing about immigration is I have zero issues with our growing Latino populations or Asian populations. I think it adds so much to a community. But if you’re here from Arizona, Florida, Texas, NY, PA, California, etc., …forget about it. Go away. “We’re gonna build a wall on Oregon’s southern border, folks, so big, so big. It’s gonna be beautiful. I can do it. No more bros here, ok ok.”

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      andrew August 5, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      And we’re going to make California pay for it 😀

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      Planenut August 5, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      I think this bike ride is a great idea. I am confused by your comment, if I immigrated from Mexico to California and then to Oregon you have an issue with that but if I immigrated from Mexico to Oregon that’s ok? The wonderful thing about this country is that we have the freedom to live wherever we want. I support one world no borders, that includes no borders between our states. I’ll bet many of the readers, myself included, are from another state.

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        ethan August 5, 2016 at 4:28 pm

        Chiming in: I’m from another state. I’m coming up on 4 years of living in Portland. The freedom to move where I want and do what I want is one of the things that actually makes me proud to be American (even if I disagree with many “American” things).

        I’ve also been fortunate enough to travel to a few other countries. In my opinion, Portland is one of the best places in the country and to try to prevent people from moving here is an uphill battle that isn’t really worth it. More people bring more ideas, more food, more socialization, etc.

        If I wanted to live in an area with a declining population, I would have stayed where I was.

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        Huey Lewis August 5, 2016 at 5:51 pm

        You and Ethan are gonna make me cry. America is great, isn’t it? Dang.

        Uh, if you move to California from Mexico, then move here and loudly discuss to your coworkers about how cheap it is, and these coworkers lived here when Portland *was* cheap, and quiet, then no, you’re not ok. Go back to California. It really has to do more with California. There are a good number of us here who dislike you all.

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      chris August 5, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      It’s hard to tell if you are being serious or not. Are you one of those confused people who repeat that Tom McCall quote “sure come visit, just don’t move here” without knowing that he was actually from the east coast and his parents moved here just like a lot of us? I’m always confused when I meet someone new and they ask “are you a native?” and I always reply “I’m as native as any white person on this continent”. Are Oregon public schools really so bad that they let people graduate without being able to tell the difference between 400 and 10,000?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 5, 2016 at 6:26 pm

        When people say “native” in the Oregon context, they generally mean born here or brought here by their parents at a very young age.

        As for the American context, the difference between 100 and 10,000 years is academic. The “we’re all immigrants” line does not at all reflect people’s experiences, and instead places a greater weight on race and history than on culture, identity, and experience… you know, the things that make us who we are.

        If you feel native, you probably are native.

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          chris August 6, 2016 at 10:44 am

          well, since technically the human body replaces almost all of its cells every 7 years or so, anyone who has been here at least that long can claim to be made in Oregon, right? 🙂

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          David Hampsten August 8, 2016 at 10:36 am

          When I first moved to Portland in 1997, I saw a bumper sticker on a 1970 VW van in the Forest Park area that said “Oregon Native Since 1987.”

          In North Dakota, the definition of “native” is anyone born there who also had both parents and all 4 grandparents born in North Dakota as well – a very high standard held by a majority of residents there (I was merely born there, so I’m not really a native.)

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    EmilyG August 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks for the shout out, Jonathan. It’ll be a day of mourning and celebration, for sure.

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    ethan August 5, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Another person was killed today.

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      EmilyG August 5, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      Here’s more from KGW. A woman riding a bike was hit by a driver on Mt. Scott & 112th and died of her injuries. It’s about a mile away from 82nd and Flavel. It’s heartbreaking.

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        B. Carfree August 5, 2016 at 8:06 pm

        At this rate, BikePortland is going to need a separate section for deaths.

        So, how’s that Vision Zero implementation going? Are we going to move beyond platitudes at some point? I mean, even one of the cops responding to this latest death was involved in a crash on the way to the scene.

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    Paul R. Brily August 6, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Great initiative!

    I’m great fan of immigration. It brings lots of ethnic restaurants, variety of foods. It helps us with labor force, we get cultural diversities.

    And the new labor force contribute to our national economy, pays us tax.

    These all are equally important for us.

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      9watts August 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      “It helps us with labor force”

      What is this capitalist nonsense that people keep repeating here in these comments? Do we have a shortage of people? of people looking for work? Did I miss that memo?

      This is the kind of thing that agribusiness and service sector employers like to parrot because competition for the lowest paid jobs benefits their profit margins; but this kind of ‘logic’ is unhinged from the reality of those who are looking for work in the sectors we’re likely imagining here. Wages stay low or may even fall when you encourage additional people who are more easily exploited to move here and compete for those jobs.

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